Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

‘Ludicrous, Dangerous, and Technically Illiterate’

Andy Greenberg, Wired:

On Thursday evening, the draft text of a bill called the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016” appeared online in an apparent leak1 from the offices of Senators Diane Feinstein and Richard Burr. It’s a nine-page piece of legislation that would require people to comply with any authorized court order for data—and if that data is “unintelligible,” the legislation would demand that it be rendered “intelligible.” In other words, the bill would make illegal the sort of user-controlled encryption that’s in every modern iPhone, in all billion devices that run Whatsapp’s messaging service, and in dozens of other tech products. “This basically outlaws end-to-end encryption,” says Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It’s effectively the most anti-crypto bill of all anti-crypto bills.”

This is presumably the same bill that the White House declined to support, for what I hope are the right reasons: this is a deplorable bill, rendering all protections for personal privacy and against intruders illegal. I strongly encourage my American readers to contact their elected representatives to convey just how disastrous this bill is.