Other than the 2016 presidential election, perhaps the most important issue of our times is privacy and security. Personal privacy and security; the kind that is under assault from government officials throughout the world, and particularly here in the good old U.S. of A.
None other than the F.B.I. has assaulted Apple in court and in the press to gain access to our personal devices through any means possible. California Senator Diane Feinstein is pushing a bill called dubiously called the ‘Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016,’ a bill which, if passed into law, could empower any government official, federal, state, or local, to gain access to your encrypted data with little effort.
Yes, the same Diane Feinstein whose husband cut a real estate deal with the government worth hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s the Diane Feinstein we should bow to, and say, ‘Thank you, Senator.’
Either the Senator was already a few years into complete dementia when she and Senator Richard Burr proposed the scurrilous details of the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, or she’s the most gifted and savvy politician of of the year. I’m not sure which, and the jury is still out, but it’s OK to say, ‘Thank you, Senator.’
Thank you? Why?
First, the bill, in its current form, is absolutely horrible, incompetently written, and all by itself has managed to unite dozens of groups against its passage in congress. From the ACLU to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and dozens of groups in between, the message is loud and clear. This bill is dangerous to Americans. Members of congress have threatened a filibuster.
No entity or individual is above the law. The bill we have drafted would simply provide that, if a court of law issues an order to render technical assistance or provide decrypted data, the company or individual would be required to do so.
Yes, that’s from the same Senator who does not mind her husband profiting hundreds of millions of dollars in a real estate deal good for realtors, not good for American tax payers. The same one. She has managed to profit without breaking a law, taxpayers be damned.
That’s the mark of a good con artist.
One could say that the bill to permit the government or any government official to access your personal and private information whenever it chooses, is nothing more than a con by a savvy government official to shift public opinion away from supporting the government to opposing the government.
See the beauty of that?
Feinstein and Burr have managed to set the hair on fire of every technologist in the country, and a wave of opposition is growing such that– even if the bill should pass in its current form or anything similar– the law would be tied up in court for many years by many organizations, and in the meantime, opposition would grow against those who voted for the bill to oust them from public office.
I support encryption. I believe it is a priority to keep Americans’ information safe and I also believe that private entities are also subject to U.S. law. When a judge issues an order, we are all required to follow the law.
Consider this. Encryption with a backdoor that is accessible by anyone at any level of government is not security at all. It’s legalized insecurity. A judge’s order is not law. It’s merely an order to follow the law as interpreted by that specific judge for a specific case. Apple was given an order by a judge, and, lawfully, refused to follow the order.
I suspect that Senator Burr has been hoodwinked by Senator Feinstein. She knew the uproar such a measure would bring to the public square. It has. She’s done her part. Now everyone else should do theirs and oppose anyone who supports such a bill.