- The White House on Saturday said the Obama administration will back away from a law that would require companies to turn over encrypted information to the federal government, Reuters reported.
- Major players in the tech space have said they would resist any administration moves to weaken the encryption systems they use to protect consumer privacy.
- The administration said it made the decision because of recent federal government hacks and concern that the data it intercepted could be hacked.
The legislation would give U.S. law enforcement agencies access to the public’s encrypted messages, but groups representing Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft, among others, say they don’t support the move.
"We are actively engaged with private companies to ensure they understand the public safety and national security risks that result from malicious actors’ use of their encrypted products and services," said White House spokesman Mark Stroh. "However, the administration is not seeking legislation at this time."
Last week, FBI Director James Comey testified before a Senate committee saying that encryption is making his agency’s job more difficult.
"Changing forms of Internet communication and the use of encryption are posing real challenges to the FBI’s ability to fulfill its public safety and national security missions," Comey said.