back to article New law would stop Feds from demanding encryption backdoor

US lawmakers from both major political parties came together on Thursday to reintroduce a bill that, if passed, would prohibit the American government from forcing tech product makers to undermine the security of their wares. The bill, known as the Secure Data Act of 2018, was returned to the US House of Representatives by …

  1. Ole Juul Silver badge

    laws vs laws

    It's good, but I'm not holding my breath. This won't keep certain nefarious government organisations from setting up their own backdoor deals with product makers as long as gag orders are also legal.

    1. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

      Re: laws vs laws

      Indeed. There are a great many (TLA) government agencies and departments for whom laws, constitutions and rules are merely guidelines to be followed or not depending upon convenience. Today I shall follow the law, tomorrow it might make me late for a coffee so I won't.

      Still good on these reps for trying.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: laws vs laws

        They are simply guidelines as tio what the TLAs must be publicly seen NOT to be transgressing.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: laws vs laws

      They've tried before, but unfortunately there are too many legislators who are worried about looking "weak on terror" or cries of "what if it is a pedophile" who will refuse to support the bill, like when they tried to block renewal of the PATRIOT ACT provisions, etc.

    3. GnuTzu Bronze badge

      Re: laws vs laws -- I Gag at Gag Orders

      Had to say it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what about the existing Backdoors

    e.g. blackmailing legislators and the judicary to bend to their will ?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: But what about the existing Backdoors

      perhaps existing back doors can be "circumvented" by using open source only?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fine obstructionist behavoiur it is then

    Everything grinds to a halt, and marathons suffer from more pressure cooker events

    1. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

      Re: Fine obstructionist behavoiur it is then

      Back in the days BEFORE we used all this tech the same issue was present.

      There were no call logs or sms messages that could be data mined to detect the sale of a pressure cooker.

      Nothing has changed. There is no difference between the information then and now other than the digital information would allow new and convenient abilities to detect sales of pressure cookers so that money can be saved and less police need to be employed. Let the computers do the work so we can help survive the budget cuts.

      The information on mobile devices is essentially non-existent just like it was before those devices were invented. So why do you need access to it? Just continue to police using the same tried and true methods or is that a lost art?

      You can also ban pressure cookers ;)

      1. Keven E

        Re: Fine obstructionist behavoiur it is then

        "...so that money can be saved and less police need to be employed."

        Hilarious!

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Fine obstructionist behavoiur it is then

      Let me get this straight. Once they get the phone from the dead body of the perpetrator after the shootout, car chase, and pressure cooker event it will make a difference because they won't know to do a week long interrogation on the innocent barber he got a haircut from the day before?

      Put another way, when have they ever brought additional charges to possibly connected people with information recovered off the phones they always seem to crack sooner or later? Now AC, you know as well as I that if they were able to stop something with that information they would be shouting it at every opportunity as evidence that they needz da backdoorz.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will never get passed...

    ...because courts have every right to order access to digital and other devices in the investigation of a crime. There is no God given right to prevent authorities from accessing the data nor should their be. If you're a crim the best advice is don't store any info. on any device and stay off of social media as you can easily be found when you post.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: Will never get passed...

      Just because 1 person is a suspect it doesn't mean we should all submit to mass surveillance and live in what will quickly expand into a police state.

      George Orwell never predicted that we'd be carrying around personal devices with access to all our search histories and personal and private messages to everyone. Devices which the police are routinely accessing and harvesting data from without a warrant now.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Will never get passed...

        Orwell was an optimist.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will never get passed...

      There are no "god" given rights. None. There are rights in their constitution to privacy. But "god" had nothing to do with them. And I bet if you let the police have access to all your data, they would find something to charge you with.

      1. Strahd Ivarius

        Re: Will never get passed...

        "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."

        From either Cardinal de Richelieu (XVIIth century) or Quintilian (Ist century)

        Nothing new under the sun...

    3. Velv Silver badge

      Re: Will never get passed...

      In one way you are right - Courts should retain the right to grant a search warrant. That’s not what the act prohibits. Read it again, the act “prohibits courts compelling access”

      Perfectly right to pass a law that protects manufacturers making their products secure, and protect them from orders to break that security.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: Will never get passed...

        You may want to give up your right to privacy for more security, but you don't get to decide for everyone.

        "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

    4. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Will never get passed...

      @AC

      "...because courts have every right to order access to digital and other devices in the investigation of a crime. There is no God given right to prevent authorities from accessing the data nor should their be. If you're a crim the best advice is don't store any info. on any device and stay off of social media as you can easily be found when you post.

      The courts have the *right* to interpret the law as written and no other rights. As for God there are no deities involved in law. At least, as far as most rational human beings are concerned, deities have little to no place in *law*. I mean, really, would you want any Aztec deity to have a place in determining your role as either the priest or the sacrifice during a drought?

  5. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    BS Politicians

    This is another one of these bills introduced to bring everyone who is up for re-election this year to get on board knowing those senators who aren't up for re-election for another 2 and 4 years will vote against it... so they will keep their power.

    ...in short, it's a publicity stunt for politicians.

    Let's get real, a government, no matter which country, isn't going to give up power it already has.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: BS Politicians

      Theresa May would ban oxygen if it appeared in the Daily Mail that terrorists also breathe it...

  6. Mahhn

    placing bets

    That this will be doing the exact opposite than intended by time it passes (reworded) just like the Patriot act was manipulated into an "allow evil doings/non patriotic stuff" that will make people hate us

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: placing bets

      "just like the Patriot act was manipulated"

      The Patriot act was not "manipulated" into being that. It was that by design from the very beginning.

  7. Herby Silver badge

    A backdoor for one...

    ...is a backdoor for all.

    Moral of the story:

    Can you keep a secret?

    So can I!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As I keep saying, what about privately agreed ciphers....

    Good luck....when the proposed government backdoor is used....they might see this (which uses a very poor word replacement cipher):

    yamalka berlinite Campyloneuron autoeciously tongue-walk pharisee basseted Reduviidae well-controlled fewer porrection Trillby yabbi Prov colpoptosis unscorching babeship Picardy Gasteromycetes Ushijima footmanhood sophies Cryptobranchus Colan chacate termor return-cocked statistic overshroud misprision ramroddy nonsterilely diapedetic unutilized Sondheimer equationist o/c lamboy toiler phthinoid Orton dim-sightedness twelfth-second artcraft Staley quasi-empty dainty-toothed bongo mid-off chockablock sneakish clamjamfry outboasted vambrace yamstchik jeoparded Dev contrapose countermining undeferrable dunamis corvinas interresistibility microcopied booter overrose wail redshirt guerdonless orchestras oldwife commercialised periclean

    Feel free to publish the plain text.

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