Kasich: ‘Situation Room’ must solve encryption problem

Kasich: ‘Situation Room’ must solve encryption problem

The White House must create an encryption workaround so law enforcement can get at criminals' hidden communications, presidential candidate John Kasich said during Thursday night’s debate.

Law enforcement officials “need resources and they need tools,” the Republican Ohio governor said. And it’s up to the White House to create those tools, Kasich added.

In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., lawmakers have been debating whether the government should have guaranteed access to encrypted data.

Law enforcement officials say such access is necessary to help track criminals and terrorists who are increasingly using encrypted apps to hide from authorities. Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrLawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program Facebook under fire over Russian ads in election 5 senators call for US to shutter embassy in Havana MORE (R-N.C.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems call for action against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare repeal Feinstein pushes back on Trump’s N. Korea policy Feinstein on reelection bid: ‘We will see’ MORE (D-Calif.) are working on a bill that would require companies to decrypt data upon court order.

But technologists and privacy advocates argue that maintaining such a “back door” to encrypted information exposes that data to hackers, putting everyday Internet activities such as email or online banking at risk.

“They say this is going to cause more security problems than it will solve for everyday Americans,” said Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly. “Are they wrong?”

“It’s best not to talk any more about backdoors and encryption,” Kasich responded. “It’ll get solved, but it needs to be solved in the Situation Room with the technology folks.”

Kelly briefly tried to interject, but Kasich continued.

“It’s best with some of these things, not to be said,” he said, before pivoting to a broader discussion of military policy.