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Washington & Encryption

David Snead, co-founder of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2C), and I went to Capitol Hill this past week to lobby on Encryption issues.

The good news was that the Feinstein - Burr legislation was generally thought to be ill-conceived and not going to pass in its current form.  Given the strength of the comments we heard, I got the sense that they had been getting a lot of negative comments on the legislation from different parts of the debate. Unfortunately, the discussions did indicate there was still room for consideration of similarly troublesome legislation in the future.  If you are not up on Feinstein - Burr I recommend this Tech Crunch article.

I think most also recognized that breaking encryption in some manner was not really an option and they wanted to try and find other options to help law enforcement deal with encryption.

In the interesting news camp, there were a number of comments about developing rules to allow the law enforcement, under a valid court order, to hack (or hire hackers to hack) encrypted data. 

The concerning news was that despite making comments about how they recognized that breaking encryption was a bad idea, several commented on the need for both sides to compromise.  How we compromise without breaking encryption is a mystery and a concern that they don't quite get it.

A final note regarding the i2C. These lobbying trips are one of the great perks of being an i2C member and I encourage folks to join the organization and its fight to minimize disruption from ill-conceived government actions.  The current fight on encryption is a hugely important one and I encourage everyone to join in.

Frank Stiff

Aledxandria, VA 22314