Burr-Feinstein Encryption Bill Overbroad and Threatens Privacy, Says CTA

Bill could inadvertently open personal information to bad actors, drive high-skill jobs overseas

ARLINGTON, Va.--()--The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, regarding the encryption bill discussion draft from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA):

“At this stage, the bill – though still in its discussion draft version – appears to be an overbroad overreaction. There is no consensus in the intelligence community that a requirement to force manufacturers to open encryption is the correct policy. Intelligence community leaders such as former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff and former NSA director Mike McConnell have spoken out against similar proposals and argue that encrypted devices are an important weapon against terrorism.

“Technology companies will help fight the battle against terrorism with innovations such as predictive analytics, chemical-sensing devices and biometric measuring capabilities. But requiring American companies to guarantee U.S. government access to encrypted communications upon receiving a court order is premature and potentially damaging. Eliminating the ability to appeal a court order would remove a basic and fundamental due process right. Indeed, requiring access to protected communications would defeat the entire purpose of encryption – opening Americans’ data to not only the U.S. government, but also hackers, contentious foreign regimes and other bad actors.

“Additionally, an anti-encryption mandate would harm our ability to keep high-skill, high-wage jobs in America and carry potential international ramifications that diminish our global competitiveness. Opening American companies to similar threats from other countries would secure nothing more than the fact that users seeking encrypted communications would simply avoid U.S. companies and opt for our foreign competitors. As this national discussion about the balance between privacy and security evolves, we must consider the trade-offs that are involved.”

“We look forward to working with the government on ways to keep our nation safe and secure while protecting privacy and innovation.”

About Consumer Technology Association:

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM is the trade association representing the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. More than 2,200 companies - 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world's best known brands - enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CTA also owns and produces CES® - the world's gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA's industry services.


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For Consumer Technology Association
Izzy Santa, 703-907-4308

Release Summary

Burr-Feinstein Encryption Bill Overbroad and Threatens Privacy, Says CTA


For Consumer Technology Association
Izzy Santa, 703-907-4308