Press Releases

DelBene: Weakening Encryption is ‘Irresponsible’ Approach

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Washington, DC, March 1, 2016 | comments

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today defended the use of encryption to protect Americans’ privacy ahead of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the topic.

“Our first priority must always be keeping Americans safe and I believe we can find a balance between preserving one’s right to privacy and protecting our national security,” DelBene said. “As a former executive in mobile communications, I know that requiring U.S. tech companies to weaken their devices with ‘backdoors’ is a reckless approach that opens up our personal information to bad actors. Allowing that kind of precedent to stand would put devices that innocent Americans rely on every day to handle sensitive information at an even greater risk. This is an irresponsible solution to a complex problem that requires in-depth study and consideration by security experts, policymakers and privacy interests. Shoehorning this issue into an 18th century law and ignoring modern realities is not only a troubling interpretation of the law, it weakens our national security.” 

Today’s hearing was sparked by Apple’s refusal to comply with a court order requiring the company to create a backdoor for encrypted communications. The court has used a law from 1789 – the All Writs Act – to justify the order. DelBene criticized the court and introduced a bill yesterday to create a Digital Security Commission bringing all stakeholders together to develop recommendations for maintaining privacy and digital security.

The Congresswoman has also introduced legislation to prevent states from passing laws to ban encryption on any smartphone sold in their respective states.

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