June 24, 2020

What They Are Saying Volume II: 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) 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.

Read Volume I here.

  • U.S. Attorney General William Barr: The bill announced…balances the privacy interests of consumers with the public safety interests of the community by requiring the makers of consumer devices to provide law enforcement with access to encrypted data when authorized by a judge.  I am confident that our world-class technology companies can engineer secure products that protect user information and allow for lawful access.  Data security and public safety are not mutually exclusive. Encryption should keep us safe and secure, not provide an impenetrable safe haven for predators, terrorists, and criminals.” 
  • Benjamin Bull, General Counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation"Encryption, while valuable for user privacy, provides a mechanism for child predators to operate anonymously and with impunity. As a result, the Internet has become a law-enforcement-free-zone for predators and traffickers. This bill is necessary to ensure that law enforcement can take reasonable, and constitutional measures to investigate crimes and protect children while respecting individual privacy. This bill should also allay any unfounded fears from Big Tech over the ‘EARN IT Act’ being an anti-encryption bill in disguise. ‘EARN IT’ does not tackle encryption; Sen. Graham’s new bill does.
  • Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators"’The Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act’ strikes the right balance between privacy and effective law enforcement. Stop Child Predators applauds Chairman Graham’s efforts to protect against dangerous criminal activity, which often includes putting vulnerable children at great risk, while at the same time respecting civil liberties. Privacy and protection don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and this bill reasonably accounts for both."
  • Larry Cosme, President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association“Digital evidence is the new smoking gun of 21st Century law enforcement. Whether in terrorism, child porn or a fraud case, today’s evidence is always tied to a digital platform - of which private companies hold the key to but often won’t turn it.  It is long overdo that private companies in the digital world be mandated to help law enforcement and comply with lawful court orders - and the ‘‘Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act’’ by Senator Graham with Senator Cotton and Senator Blackburn is a step toward ensuring those companies are finally mandated to help law enforcement protect America.”
  • Kevin Malone, Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking“Passage of the ‘Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act’ would provide law enforcement with the necessary resources to effectively investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, while also protecting the individual citizen’s reasonable expectation of privacy… We thank you for your leadership in introducing the ‘Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act’ and will actively encourage members of the U.S. Senate to advance this legislation to provide the necessary tools for law enforcement to effectively combat the systematic buying and selling of America’s most vulnerable citizens.”
  • Congresswoman Linda Smith, Founder and President of Shared Hope International (1995-99): “Shared Hope International is deeply concerned about the costs to victims of child sex trafficking and sexual exploitation when encryption policies proceed without consideration or accountability for the impact on crime victims. The proliferation of online criminal activity involving children requires a robust dialogue and creative solutions to find technological approaches that allow for lawful access to critical information. This access is essential to prevent traffickers and exploiters from using encryption to shield their illegal activities from law enforcement. Shared Hope International sees the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act as a critical step to ensuring encryption does not create barriers to law enforcement’s efforts to protect children online.
  • Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, National Sheriffs' Association 2nd Vice President: "For far too long, law enforcement has been stymied by criminals who hide their wrongful acts on their electronic devices. This legislation has the necessary elements to protect ordinary citizen’s privacy and help law enforcement keep communities safe.  It would allow courts, in support of a duly authorized search warrant, based on probable cause, to search an electronic device with compelled third party assistance.  With these crucial safeguards in place, The National Sheriffs Association supports the measure, and commends Senators Graham, Cotton and Blackburn for their efforts."