June 23, 2020

What They Are Saying: Support for Graham, Cotton Blackburn Bill to Bolster National Security, End Use of Warrant-Proof Encryption that Shields Criminal Activity

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) 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 by terrorists and other bad actors to conceal illicit behavior.

  • Ed Mullins, President of Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department“…The ‘Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act’ strikes this necessary balance and will ensure that service providers and device manufacturers provide all necessary assistance and develop the appropriate technology to both ensure adequate protection of privacy and public safety. The SBA is proud to join you in advocating for passage of this legislation, and we thank you for your continued leadership on this important issue.”
  • William Johnson, Executive Director of the National Association of Police Organizations“Digital evidence is a part of nearly every crime scene today and law enforcement is increasingly facing real and growing challenges in getting this evidence when we obtain the required legal process. This significantly hampers law enforcement’s ability to keep our communities safe, prosecute criminals and protect victims… The Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act will ensure that when law enforcement is investigating such heinous crimes as kidnapping, homicide, child pornography or human trafficking, service providers must assist us in obtaining that information for the investigation.
  • Chief Art Acevedo, President of Major Cities Chiefs Association“The MCCA fully recognizes the benefits encryption affords to law abiding citizens. The right to privacy that Americans enjoy is part of what makes our country great. However, we cannot let criminals continue their malicious use of this technology at the expense of our communities’ safety… The MCCA believes that the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act strikes the proper balance between lawful access and privacy.”
  • Lawrence. J. Leiser, President of the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys“Currently, criminals are able to hide behind outdated data privacy laws that threaten public safety. The Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act addresses this gap in enforcement by codifying into federal law a requirement that technology companies ensure federal law enforcement have a process for obtaining lawful access to encrypted data… NAAUSA fully endorses this legislation to bypass longstanding obstacles to achieving justice.”
  • Peter J. Koutoujian, President of the Major County Sheriffs of America“Your legislation would create very reasonable requirements for companies to comply with legal orders pursuant to search warrants… That is why we support your bill and will work to educate all Members of the Senate and House about its importance to our agencies and the citizens we serve.”
  • Duffie Stone, President of the National District Attorneys Association“The introduction of the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act reflects the immediate need for a legislative solution to the issue of smartphone device encryption and lawful access to digital evidence. By accounting for detailed processes that require a valid warrant and court order, while also accounting for the resources needed to ensure that technology community is able to comply with these orders, your legislation represents a realistic path forward to solving this complicated problem.” 
  • Mark Keel, President of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies“ASCIA understands that strong encryption is an essential part of modern cybersecurity. We also believe that tradeoffs have always been a part of system design. A lawful access mechanism that balances system security against the very real public safety harm caused by warrant-proof encryption is consistent with long-standing tradeoffs in other areas of system design, like the need for software updates. Your bill strikes an appropriate balance and we commend your recognition of the seriousness of this issue.”