- Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX, said they will propose bipartisan legislation to create a national commission on security and technology.
- Among other things, the commission would address how intelligence officials “can legally monitor encrypted communications used by terrorists to plan attacks,” according to a Network World report.
- The push for the commission stems from concern that terrorists used encrypted communications to plan attacks in Paris and San Bernardino last year.
The proposed commission could help establish a middle ground between government agencies and the private sector.
In December, FBI Director James Comey appealed to private sector technology companies to help “find ways to turn over to a judge any encrypted communications suspected of being terrorist related.”
"Because extremists are 'going dark,' law enforcement officials warn that we are 'going blind' in our efforts to track them," wrote Warner and McCaul in an opinion piece for The Washington Post last month.
But such requests have brought strong opposition from privacy advocates and leaders in the tech community, who have defended personal privacy and say mandating backdoor access to encrypted data would undermine Internet privacy.
In December, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company complies with court-ordered warrants to produce information as required by law enforcement, but said of encrypted data on iPhones, "we don't have it to give” because Apple's iPhones running versions after iOS 4 keep decryption keys on a user's iPhone.