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Senate Dem vows to filibuster encryption bill

Senate Dem vows to filibuster encryption bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK 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 BurrDems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel The National Trails System is celebrating 50 years today — but what about the next 50 years? MORE (R-N.C.) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein would 'absolutely' reopen Kavanaugh investigation if Dems win Senate Feinstein’s Dem challenger: 'It’s time that we stop biding our time and biting our tongue' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns 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.