Senate Republicans introduce “Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act”, which would change privacy as we know it

First things first, take a minute to read this official Senate Judiciary Committee explainer. It’s actually not that long and pretty readable.

At its heart:

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.

Now go read John Gruber’s headline-linked take. At its heart:

This is breathtaking. At least they’re being somewhat clear here: they’re proposing outlawing all end-to-end encryption. Encryption that is “warrant-proof” is everything-proof — there are no decryption keys in the middle. Encryption that can be undone at the behest of a lawful warrant can also be undone by anyone with access to the keys.

The way I read it, this would require device manufacturers (like Apple) to build in some mechanism to allow them to (as the result of a warrant) break encryption. This is no small thing. This would break Apple’s privacy foundation.

Keep your eyes on this one.