From NextGov:

Key law­makers in both cham­bers on Monday pro­posed some of the first bills to ad­dress the use of en­cryp­ted com­mu­nic­a­tions in the wake of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Par­is and San Bern­ardino.

The pro­pos­als from Sen­ate Demo­crats and House Re­pub­lic­ans wouldn’t man­date that the gov­ern­ment have “back­door” ac­cess to com­mu­nic­a­tions. In­stead, the law­makers are just pro­pos­ing that the gov­ern­ment and the tech in­dustry work to­geth­er to study the is­sue.

But even that tent­at­ive first step has pri­vacy ad­voc­ates nervous. “From my per­spect­ive, the idea is wor­ry­ing,” said Chris Ca­labrese, the vice pres­id­ent for policy at the Cen­ter for Demo­cracy and Tech­no­logy, a di­git­al-rights group. “En­cryp­tion is so found­a­tion­al to the se­cur­ity of the In­ter­net. Pro­pos­als to study back­doors seem like they will in­ev­it­ably lead to some bad tech­nic­al com­prom­ises.”

In a speech Monday, House Home­land Se­cur­ity Chair­man Mi­chael Mc­Caul, a Texas Re­pub­lic­an, said he plans to in­tro­duce le­gis­la­tion to cre­ate a “na­tion­al com­mis­sion on se­cur­ity and tech­no­logy” that would is­sue re­com­mend­a­tions to “pro­tect pri­vacy and pub­lic safety.” He said the com­mis­sion would in­clude mem­bers from law en­force­ment, as well as civil-liber­ties ad­voc­ates, aca­dem­ics, and rep­res­ent­at­ives from tech­no­logy com­pan­ies.

Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic lead­ers an­nounced their own pro­pos­als Monday to fight IS­IS, in­clud­ing le­gis­la­tion to dir­ect the Na­tion­al Academy of Sci­ences and in­tel­li­gence agen­cies to work with the private sec­tor to “identi­fy how en­cryp­tion tech­no­logy is used and how to make sure that our na­tion­al se­cur­ity needs and tech­no­logy policies are not work­ing at cross-pur­poses.”

The bills fol­low a speech on ter­ror­ism Sunday…

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