back to article US anti-backdoor bill: If at first you're shot down in flames – try, try again

Lawmakers in the US are making an effort to revive legislation that would ban government agencies from demanding backdoor access to hardware, websites and software. Under the proposed Secure Data Act, developers cannot be forced to insert security holes into devices and code. The FBI, for one, would like to use such flaws to …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Who needs a law?

    They could just ask nicely, like they did with the cell phone companies.

    Or they suggest that you might want to keep friendly with government purchasing depts

    Or they suggest you might not want a tax audit

    Or they simply turn up with lots of guns and some orange jumpsuits and suggest you comply

    Now that we know the courts will grant immunity to anyone who illegally cooperates with warrantless wiretaps - why risk upsetting the government ?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Who needs a law?

      Under Senator Wyden's proposal, they could do every one of the things you mention to whatever extent they may do at present. As for courts granting immunity to those cooperating with warrantless wiretaps, I think we have known about that for something over half a decade, and got Section 215 as a patch for it. Senator Wyden's proposed act also maintains, explicitly, the existing CALEA requirement for telephone system backdoors.

      There is some reason to doubt that we need a law to forbid the government from doing something no law permits it to do, and also to suspect that those sponsoring such legislation are engaged primarily in grandstanding for their own benefit, after the manner of most politicians.

  2. Christoph

    What's the point?

    "Under the proposed Secure Data Act, developers cannot be forced to insert security holes into devices and code."

    ... unless it's for national security, in which case there's a secret directive that says they can do it regardless of the law.

  3. dogged

    Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

    wasn't he a co-sponsor of the USA PATRIOT act?

    1. dogged

      Re: Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

      Yep. Quoth wikipedia -

      Sensenbrenner introduced the USA PATRIOT Act to the House on October 23, 2001. Although the primary author was Assistant Attorney General of the United States Viet Dinh, Sensenbrenner has been recognized as "one of the architects of the Patriot Act"

      So he's trying to undo some of the damage he did?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

        The main damage was done via stuff the PATRIOT ACT never permitted, but were done via executive orders/findings by the Bush admin (and expanded by the Obama admin) Maybe he still thinks the PATRIOT ACT was good, but it shouldn't have been allowed to go beyond what it permitted.

        Sad to see that we're pining for the "good old days" of the PATRIOT ACT being the limit on government's spying power!

  4. Mike Smith
    Big Brother

    They're right, you know

    "With threats to our homeland ever prevalent, we should not tie the hands of the intelligence community."

    Da! How more true could that be? Enemies of the State are everywhere. Be ever alert, citizen, and support your comrade leaders. It is for your own good.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: They're right, you know

      Don't be aler, the country has enough lert. Be aloof...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Look at this 5+ posts and so far no token nothing to hide nothing to fear Merken poster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wow

      Why do you assume those people are always Americans? Do you think that you folks across the pond are all too smart to believe that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wow

        And yet you assume I am from across the pond. Perhaps I know my country and see that the most bat sh*t crazy fearful system d*ck lickers come from my own homeland

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US and UK seem to be diverging on this issue

    Be nice if my government was no longer the most oppressive in the "free" world, though too bad it will require the UK becoming even more oppressive to do so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US and UK seem to be diverging on this issue

      We were doing target assassinations on our own citizens, interning them without trial and torturing them while you were still running around the in the jungle of SE Asia.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    The proudest boast some politicians want to make.

    "We destroyed your freedom to keep you safe"

    Thanks a f**king bunch.

  8. Medixstiff

    I wonder if countries with "free trade agreements" could have a clause inserted that only equipment without US government requested back doors, can be sold in their country?

    Failure to comply would mean the companies would have to withdraw their equipment from sale, similar to Apple had Samsung do with one of their court cases?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are overly optimistic

      So far all requests are for the local government to have a backdoor too.

  9. Twist Rolarian

    So the gov't can't force the developers to include a backdoor for their own personal use.

    Now, if only the developers could prevent themselves from "accidentally" (read: for the developers own use) including a backdoor for the gov't to sneak into, we wouldn't need legislation like this in the first place.

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