Senate Dem vows to filibuster encryption bill

Senate Dem vows to filibuster encryption bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTreasury releases proposed rules on major part of Trump tax law Rubio slams Google over plans to unveil censored Chinese search engine Hillicon Valley: GOP leader wants Twitter CEO to testify on bias claims | Sinclair beefs up lobbying during merger fight | Facebook users experience brief outage | South Korea eyes new taxes on tech MORE (D-Ore.) on Wednesday vowed to filibuster a Senate Intelligence Committee encryption bill that would give law enforcement greater access to locked data.

“Americans who value their security and liberty must join together to oppose this dangerous proposal,” the tech-focused lawmaker said in a statement just after an official discussion draft of the bill was released.

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“I intend to oppose this bill in committee and if it reaches the Senate floor, I will filibuster it,” added Wyden, an Intelligence panel member.

The measure, from Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrFlorida questions Senate chairman over claim that Russians have ‘penetrated’ election systems WikiLeaks says Senate panel requested Assange testimony for Russia probe Tougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans MORE (R-N.C.) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinArchivist rejects Democrats' demand for Kavanaugh documents Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing Latino legal group slams Kavanaugh MORE (D-Calif.), would force companies to provide “technical assistance” to government investigators seeking secure data.

An initial discussion draft was first made public by The Hill last week.

The effort is a response to concerns that criminals are increasingly using encrypted technology to hide from authorities.

While law enforcement has long pressed Congress for legislation that would give investigators greater access to encrypted data, the tech community and privacy advocates warn that such access would undermine security and endanger online privacy.

Wyden’s remarks are not a surprise. The privacy advocate has previously said he would “use every power” to stop what he sees as an anti-encryption bill.

“This legislation would effectively prohibit Americans from protecting themselves as much as possible,” Wyden said Wednesday. “It would outlaw the strongest types of encryption and undermine the foundation of cybersecurity for millions of Americans.”

Giving the government guaranteed access to encrypted data “would leave Americans more vulnerable to stalkers, identity thieves, foreign hackers and criminals,” Wyden said.

And the Oregon Democrat doesn't believe the power would actually help law enforcement uncover more criminal plots.

“It will not make us safer from terrorists or other threats,” Wyden said.