Silicon Valley Giants Say Encryption Bill Is 'Unworkable'
Apr 21, 2016 12:13 AM EDT
After a court order asking Apple to help unlock one of the San Bernardino shooters' iPhone was vacated, an encryption bill is being stirred in the Congress. However, tech giants in Silicon Valley believe that the bill is "unworkable."
In a report by PC, the biggest names in technology are fighting a draft bill that would make it possible for United States courts to demand help on bypassing encryption. The proposal is from Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein. The proposed bill will basically force companies such as Apple and Google to comply with court orders. Feinstein and Burr contest that it is intended to protect Americans from criminals and terrorists.
A letter penned by Reform Government Surveillance, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Internet Infrastructure Coalition, and the Entertainment Software Association argue that the bill will not work, noting that it is critical to the safety of not only the nation but the world's information technology infrastructure.
The aforementioned groups represent the tech heavyweights such as Amazon, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Nintendo, Samsung, Twitter, and many more. The groups continued to argue that a mandatory decryption requirement will lead to unintended consequences adding that such will "force companies to prioritize government access over other considerations" such as digital security.
The groups also said in their letter that they are ready and willing to engage in a dialogue regarding the matter but they remain to be concerned about the efforts to "prioritize one type of security over all others in a way that leads to unintended, negative consequences for the safety of our networks and our customers," ABC News reported.
Apple has also released a statement, according App Advice reported. The company said the bill would weaken the very defenses "we need to protect us from people who want to cause economic and physical harm."
The bill comes after Apple declined to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The issue was taken to court but before a decision was made, it was dropped by FBI which was able to hack the concerned mobile phone through a third party.