WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – A new US Senate bill if passed will allow the Justice Department to access encrypted data in order to crack down on criminals who have abused this capability to avoid detection, Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
“Passing legislation that allows warrant access to encrypted data will allow law enforcement to further provide for the safety and security of the American people. I applaud Chairman Graham and Senators Cotton and Blackburn for introducing the first-ever bill to address this issue”, Barr said on Tuesday.
Barr warned that “warrant-proof” encryption allows criminals to operate with impunity.
“While strong encryption provides enormous benefits to society and is undoubtedly necessary for the security and privacy of Americans, end-to-end encryption technology is being abused by child predators, terrorists, drug traffickers, and even hackers to perpetrate their crimes and avoid detection”, Barr said.
Earlier, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and US Senators Tom Cotton and Marsha Blackburn introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act which they said would end “warrant-proof” encryption.
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and US Senators Tom Cotton and Marsha Blackburn today introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act, a bill to bolster national security interests and better protect communities across the country by ending the use of ‘warrant-proof’ encrypted technology”, they announced in a joint statement.
The bill would require device manufacturers and service providers to assist law enforcement with accessing encrypted data if assistance would aid in the execution of a warrant, according to the statement. The release said bad actors exploit warrant-proof encryption to shield illegal activity including terrorism, child sexual abuse, and international drug trafficking. The senators said the bill if passed, would also allow the US Attorney General to issue directives to service providers and device manufacturers to report on their ability to comply with court orders.