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US Anti-Encryption Law Is So 'Braindead' It Will Outlaw File Compression (theregister.co.uk) 241

An anonymous reader writes: The bill released Thursday by Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein to force U.S. companies to build backdoors into their encryption systems has been further dissected by experts. In less than 24 hours after the Court Orders Act of 2016 draft was released, 43,000 signatures have been added to a petition calling for the bill to be withdrawn. Bruce Schneier, the writer of the books on modern cryptography, said the bill would make most of what the NSA does illegal, unless no such agency is willing to backdoor its own encrypted communications. "This is the most braindead piece of legislation I've ever seen," Schneier told The Register. "The person who wrote this either has no idea how technology works or just doesn't care." Schneier says cryptographic code will be affected by this legislation, as well as "lossy compression algorithms" that are used to reduce the size of images for sending through email, which won't work in reverse and add back the data removed. Files that can't be decrypted on demand to their original state, and files that can't be decompressed back to their exact originals, all look the same to this draft now. He said even deleted data could be covered in this legislation.
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US Anti-Encryption Law Is So 'Braindead' It Will Outlaw File Compression

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  • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:25PM (#51918065)

    ...where nobody seems to know how they continue to get elected.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:31PM (#51918107) Journal

      I guess the question is this:

      Does this surprise anyone, anyone at all? Is anyone gasping because they're shocked that such would be proposed? Anyone? Anyone?

      No... Me either...

      *sighs* I tell you what, it's seriously reaching the point where we the people need to remind the government who is in charge. No, I am not advocating violence. Yes, I am advocating forcing them to listen.

      However, on the subject of violence... The government should fear the citizens, not the other way around. Fear, having a meaning akin to respect as well as what one might normally define it as.

      See definition 4 here:
      http://www.thefreedictionary.c... [thefreedictionary.com]

      Of course, if need be, the other definitions work.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:57PM (#51918299)

        If that's what you want, you need to attack the places the politicians care about - their wallet and their power, and that means impeachment. But in the present system, politicians don't fear impeachment because it's such a convoluted process -- it doesn't happen much. What I propose is a process for direct impeachment, where every quarter constituents can vote to impeach or not. Perhaps semi-annually. It's like a job performance review -- they work for us so we should be able to fire them at any time if we think they are doing their job poorly. The reason these people remain in office is because the terms are so long, by the time re-elections are due, everyone has forgotten about the past 2-4 years of shenanigans. We need to close that loop, and get the people directly involved, on short timeframes. The colossal amount of fail happening in the government right now is truly embarrassing. We need to make it easier for the people to remove bad leaders. If we can't have direct democracy, I think direct impeachment is a good alternative.

        • Bill Clinton got impeached. All that meant was that $40 million of taxpayer money was spent doing nothing of any practical effect.

          What we need to be able to vote for is removal. A few successful recall elections could do a lot.

          • Bill Clinton got impeached. All that meant was that $40 million of taxpayer money was spent doing nothing of any practical effect.

            What we need to be able to vote for is removal. A few successful recall elections could do a lot.

            And a president with a 60 percent approval rating isn't going to be removed. by a popular vote. So the people who wanted him out the most, wouldn't have their way.

        • by duckintheface ( 710137 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @05:36PM (#51918523)

          I've known Richard Burr since 1994. He was an appliance salesman who wanted to be in Congress. I was a campaign organizer for his opponent in that race. He has no understanding of tech issues which makes it all the more ridiculous that he is Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

          Burr is doing this because he is up for re-election this November. His opponent in the race is Deborah Ross, an intelligent and hard working former member of the NC House of Representatives and former State Director of the North Carolina ACLU. If you really want to fix the Burr problem, consider making a donation to the Deborah Ross for Senate Campaign. https://secure.actblue.com/con... [actblue.com]

          • by aralin ( 107264 )

            Thank you for the link. I just contributed and I will vote for anyone who will run against Feinstein in primaries and general election. I've wrote to her saying that much.

          • by delt0r ( 999393 )
            Why is your political system designed around campaign contributions? Why the hell do you think that is the deciding factor?
        • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Friday April 15, 2016 @05:48PM (#51918629) Journal

          Oh, I've already listed the best way that I can think of to get their attention and it's a bit long to write it out again. However, it's easy enough to do. What we need, in order to do it, is solidarity. That's what we, the citizens, lack. We're too busy fighting over who is what color, who is getting what for privilege, who has what politics, who has sex with who, who believes in this, and who believes in that. We call each other hillbillies, rednecks, fagots, and thugs. We berate someone for wearing a Confederate Flag or for wearing a Rainbow Flag. We're rooting for Trump and Clinton.

          In other words, they've happily sat back and watched us squabble over the scraps while they continue eating their 12 course meal at the adult table. What we lack is the ability to stop pissing and moaning about the differences between us. What we lack is the motivation to pay attention to the many things we all have in common. We have no solidarity.

          We have no unity (unless we have Ubuntu). We argue over operating systems, programming languages, politically correct pronouns, text editors, who shot first, grammar, and more. We hate anyone who has more than us and are sure they stole it, else they wouldn't have it. Either way, they don't deserve it. The people below us, financially, you either view them as incompetent and needing to be carried or needing to be left behind.

          You don't see a human when you read my posts. You see an idea, you see a picture, you see a caricature. You either hate it or you like it but you don't bother to think about the things you and I have in common. You want to be right. You want to win, win what? You want to win the internet points? You want the last word? You want to be the King Shit on Turd Island? Well, that's what you've got.

          And it might not even be your fault. You might be just peachy and perfect and willing to sacrifice for the greater good. That's quite possible but, really, if you are then you're no in the majority. The majority wants more and mine. The majority wants control and only views things in their own binary fashion. The majority isn't concerned about your problems because your problems aren't their problems. They don't even notice the disconnect when they finally have their problems and not a hand is raised to help them.

          Then, accountability? We can not have that. Make a post suggesting someone have some personal accountability. Suggest that people be responsible. Note the remarks you get - just here, on this site, a site full of some of the smartest people on the 'net. You don't get solidarity without accountability. You don't get accountability without compassion. You don't get compassion without unity (unless you install it with apt-get).

          No, we need solidarity. If you can tell me how to get solidarity, I will tell you how to rule the world.

          • Well said.

            What I keep wondering is: why do we _never_ see a single political candidate say anything close to this? Is it really impossible for a decent, normal human being to want to be in politics?

            I'm actually starting to think about running myself (and my views fit yours perfectly). It's crazy that the world has come down to the choices we currently have for President... all it shows is just how divided we truly are.

            • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Friday April 15, 2016 @08:56PM (#51919511) Journal

              I will be on the Maine State ballot for Senate, district 17, this fall. I'm actually a classic Libertarian or, perhaps, a Socialist Libertarian. If I were in Europe, you'd call me a Socialist Democrat - more likely than not. Though, I've got all the signatures and the paperwork is turned in (I had all that done before I even went on my winter vacation), I am kind of doubting my desire to hold office.

              The reasons are long and complex. I don't want the job to begin with. I've neither the need for money nor the need for the infamy. I don't need the prying and, while I don't mind being honest, there are some things I just don't feel like having to explain because they occupy more than 140 characters or a bumper sticker. I still have time to remove my name, prior to the ballot printings, and I'm not entirely sure what I want to do.

              A long time ago, I was going to be the next Jim Morrison. We had a band, we even had a demo tape, and we did a bunch of concerts down the East Coast. Then, we went to the West Coast. The following year, I was in the Marines. I learned something back then. The people you want to be able to listen, can't. Had the crowd been a little less noisy and listened to the music then maybe we would have ended up with a record deal. Instead, the bars were loud and fights were frequent and the people you wanted to be able to hear, couldn't.

              I wonder if I'm approaching that same sort of thing with politics. I don't want the job. I never wanted the job. I've just been asked to run many, many times and I finally agreed that "I'd consider it" if they could get enough signatures. It's a rather small district, up in North Western, Maine. I have better ways to waste my time - even if it means posting on Slashdot, then trying to change the juggernaut that is humanity. I am not that powerful and, as I said, the ones I want to hear - can't.

              So, I don't know... The missus and I discuss it nearly every day. I'm headed back to Maine in just a few more weeks. I'll miss my time in the Gulf but I'm missing Maine even more. I think the State ought to be a fair, just, balanced, and compassionate organization that is there for the benefit and not for the detriment. That's why I opted to run as a Senator.

              By the way, the band was horrible. Absolutely horrific and had no business being on stage. Separately, we weren't bad. Together, we kind of sucked. Though, once in a while, if the declination of the moon was right and the level of intoxication was just so - you could feel the music, and I do not mean the vibrations of the air via sound waves. All-in-all, I'm much happier that my life turned out the way it has.

              But, I fear the same problem will be there with politics. It's like the Law of Diminishing Returns. It's everywhere. Those you want to be able to listen, can't. Not much of what I have to say fits in a bunch of check-marks, bumper stickers, or in 140 characters or less. I learned that at a very young age. I don't have a middle name. I have four names, no hyphen in the middle, and thus I have no middle name but I do have two middle names. When you fill those forms out with your handy dandy #2 pencil, there's just no room on there for me. They have one slot for a middle initial and I don't have one - I have two. It was then that I realized that the check-boxes of life just don't seem to fit. Funny how it all turns out in the end.

              But, you can now say you've heard a politician (even if just an aspiring politician - who may decide to not run) say such things. I don't think most people want to hear it. It means that they've got to be accountable. It means that they're responsible. It means that they need to take action, accept risks, and live with the consequences of those choices. I'm not sure that I don't blame them. Life's easy when you're a coward.

              • by serbanp ( 139486 )

                Well, at least you can feel some "internet solidarity". You're at the other end of the contiguous USA for me to meet (and vote for) such an interesting person as you seem to be (as read through most - not all - of your posts on /.), so all I (and others, I'm sure) can offer is written encouragement.

                You may get disillusioned b the whole political process, but at least you followed through your inner desire to do something. Kudos!

              • Important issues are decided by thin margins often enough; you can make a difference. On the issues you care most about even more so, because other legislatures will have different interests, so they'll listen to your point of view on the issues you know about and care about.

                You've made enough intelligent posts to catch my attention, so you are apparently smarter/ better informed than the average citizen.

                It's odd you haven't noticed that as an economy swings further toward socialism and communism, that req

                • A stupid browser bug causes my posts to be submitted as I write, mid sentence. Anyway ...

                  Kinda odd that you'd be both reasonably well-informed and call yourself a libertarian yet still lean socialist. More socialist/ communist invariably requires more tighter government control of the citizens. Still, at least you have some clue, which is better than most candidates.

                  • Read up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

                    The political spectrum is not one-dimensional left/right, at the very least it's two-dimensional left/right and authoritarian/libertarian. And you should also read up on socialism and marxism in particular, and the end goal of the withering of the state, which is the complete opposite of statism. Realize that with welfare and perhaps even unconditional basic income (UBI) comes freedom from worrying about the future and your next meal. Freedom to be a completely free

          • Well spoken.

            Sadly preaching to the choir. :-/

            The people that _should_ be paying attention are too busy watching <insert fad of the month> ... to even notice or care how the country is going down.

          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            Nah all to difficult and tiresome. Here is what we do, we all demand FOSS free open source software encryption solutions and when it get to the line of code with the back door, in capital letters type this description "THIS IS THE FUCKING STUPID LINE OF CODE WITH THE BACK DOOR PLEASE DELETE PRIOR TO COMPILATION and have a nice day ;D", don't forget the smiley it counts.

            See all to easy, no muss, no fuss, now how the fuck will they legislate that out of software, 'er' you must make it really difficult to d

        • Sorry, but forcing idiot politicians to show the electorate how good a job they are doing would basically put them in a continuous election/campaigning cycle (because that is effectively their job performance review, and the Congress/Senate campaign cycle lasts for at least 6-9 months as it is), meaning that they would do even less useful work than they do now.
          The fact that you are right about the attention span of voters being too short to remember anything that has not happened in the last week (not sure

        • by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @07:05PM (#51919063) Journal

          If that's what you want, you need to attack the places the politicians care about - their wallet and their power, and that means impeachment. But in the present system, politicians don't fear impeachment because it's such a convoluted process -- it doesn't happen much. What I propose is a process for direct impeachment, where every quarter constituents can vote to impeach or not. Perhaps semi-annually. It's like a job performance review -- they work for us so we should be able to fire them at any time if we think they are doing their job poorly. The reason these people remain in office is because the terms are so long, by the time re-elections are due, everyone has forgotten about the past 2-4 years of shenanigans. We need to close that loop, and get the people directly involved, on short timeframes. The colossal amount of fail happening in the government right now is truly embarrassing. We need to make it easier for the people to remove bad leaders. If we can't have direct democracy, I think direct impeachment is a good alternative.

          There are plenty of issues with the US electoral system that need remedies, but 2-, 4-, and 6-year terms being too long is not one of them.

          Let's review:

          • Voters generally elect people by picking their "team" without regard for issues or voting history.
          • Elections are winner-take-all.
          • Gerrymandering has effectively predetermined the outcome of elections in many areas of the country.
          • The Supreme Court declared that money = speech, enshrining corruption as a constitutional right. It has also defined the criteria for bribery so narrowly that it's nearly impossible to prosecute.
          • Most elected officials are given cushy private sector jobs upon leaving office (likely in return for undisclosed favors).

          While not all the above are under direct control by voters, the first one certainly is, and fixing it is necessary to address any of the others.

        • by the time re-elections are due, everyone has forgotten about the past 2-4 years of shenanigans.

          If the electorate truly has such a short attention span, then annual impeachments aren't going to help. There is nothing that can help such a bunch of gold-fish-brained mouth breathers.

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

        people need to remind the government who is in charge. No, I am not advocating violence.

        Power, and politics, grow from the barrel of a gun. Now PC liberal types will get all offended at this, but it does not change the fact that it's an absolute truth. Of course a whole bunch of hippy types will point to Ghandi and his "non violent" ways. Remind me what happened to Ghandi again? And his wife. And his son? So in the end, who won? Violence is the ONLY way to change things. It's nature's way. You don't let the other alpha male on your territory, you drive him off through force, or you kill him.

      • >> The government should fear the citizens

        Sen. Feinstein is in a rather rabid opposition to this idea. She's been proposing one gun ban after another for as long as I can remember.

    • by dejitaru ( 4258167 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:42PM (#51918193)
      I mostly blame it on people voting strictly based on party and not the actual candidate... The biggest issue with voting imo.
      • I mostly blame it on people voting strictly based on AGAINST A party and not the actual candidate... yayyy so excited for Hilarity

        • Very true, especially with presidential elections it isn't so much "I like hime, i'm voting hime" but "I don't like the other person, so i'm voting for the opponent"

          Not like it matters there, since the electoral college chooses the president.
      • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:48PM (#51918233) Homepage Journal

        Well, Feinstein's opponent last time was Carly, and after what she did to Lucent and to HP, I was damned if I was going to vote for her.

        • Well, im sure there was other candidates besides those two
          • No, sadly Carly was the most viable out of the lot. She might have even gotten 10% of the vote!

        • Every past and present Lucent and HP employee agrees with you!
        • by MikeKD ( 549924 )

          Well, Feinstein's opponent last time was Carly, and after what she did to Lucent and to HP, I was damned if I was going to vote for her.

          Wrong CA senator; Carly went up against Barbara Boxer in 2010 [wikipedia.org]. Feinstein's opponent in the 2012 general [wikipedia.org] was Elizabeth Emken (open primary results [wikipedia.org]).

          • by sconeu ( 64226 )

            Damn... was it THAT long ago? My memory is bad.

          • by sconeu ( 64226 )

            As I said... I stand corrected. I voted for Gail Lightfoot (L) in 2012, at least in the primary. I think I abstained in the general election, since CA only gives you two choices in the general election, and I didn't like either.

        • Maybe I'm the only one that will say it but overall Feinstein isn't a bad senator. She's done a good job on a lot of things but she's got one wickedly bad weakness and that's she's scared of terrorists and criminals and is a true believer that government can be trusted with our personal information. She's willing to take away rights and grant government sweeping power over our personal lives to prevent terrorism and crime.

          I don't know why she's like this but she's always been like this on this issue. There

      • I mostly blame it on people voting strictly based on party and not the actual candidate...

        People did look at the actual candidates. The Republican Party in California is completely dysfunctional, and totally out of touch with the electorate. It was difficult, but they actually found people that were worse than Feinstein.

        California is a one-party state. The only hope getting rid of Feinstein is a primary challenge, and that would be extremely difficult, and very expensive in a big state like California. Feinstein would have the establishment support, and plenty of money from both donors and he

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by taustin ( 171655 )

      If you live in California, you know full well how she continues to get elected: California voters are idiots who do what they're told by the talking box in their living room.

    • ...where nobody seems to know how they continue to get elected.

      She's a Democrat. If I go to facebook now I'll see that my left-leaning friends - who would be howling like a pack of rabid banshees were this simply a Republican bill - will be silent at best and at worst screeching louder about how men need to be able to use the women's restrooms or you're a bigot hoping nobody will notice this. If I point out this bill I'll be told that normally Republicans to this but sometimes *both* parties do stupid things. Note that Democrats *never* do anything stupid on their o

      • by linuxwrangler ( 582055 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @05:45PM (#51918609)

        Yes, she runs as a Democrat but must be a DINO...in-name-only.

        While she does support some liberal stances on gay marriage and on occasion has voted for small scaling back of some surveillance programs her overall record is far from liberal.

        She is fiercely pro-corporate supporting H1B programs and nearly every pro-Hollywood copyright plan she sees.

        Her anti-free-speech sentiments are seen both as the main Democratic sponsor of the failed Flag Desecration constitutional amendment and in bills supporting unilateral US censorship of the Internet.

        She was the original Democratic supporter of the PATRIOT act, supports numerous hard-stance "tough on crime" acts and called for the immediate arrest and extradition of Edward Snowden.

        She is pro death-penalty.

        She is against any substantial limits on spying having joined Republicans in voting to give the executive branch authority for international surveillance of Americans without the need for FISA court oversight and for continuing civil immunity for providers who assist the government is such activities.

        Meanwhile, her husband Richard Blum's firm CBRE is poised to earn $1 Billion on the sale of closed post offices.

        Her sponsorship of this idiotic legislation should not surprise anyone.

    • Agreed. It's clearly time for Ms. Feinstein to resign. As TFA states, she (well, they, actually) either don't understand the technology, or they just don't give a damn.
    • by s13g3 ( 110658 )

      ...where nobody seems to know how they continue to get elected.

      One word: California

      'Nuff said.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      "I've voted Democrat since 1961 and I'm not changing now..."
    • Have you seen what passes for a republican candidate in California? The Governator is about the only republican that could replace her easily.

    • This bill is so insane that it will sail right through Congress.

    • Feinstein may not be the brightest bulb in the drawer, but she's sincere, she's passionate about her causes, and she's at least as bright as the average voter (let's be honest, her constituency can't tell the difference between encryption and compression at a mathematical level either).

      Maybe she's not actually sincere, but she does a good enough job faking it, if she's not. And that's what counts :)
  • Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:25PM (#51918069) Journal

    Of course the politicians involved are retards. They're just doing what the FBI and NSA are telling them to do. So far as these stunningly mindless halfwits are concerned, computers are magic bosses and those weirdo nerdy wizards should just do what they are told.

    Want better politicians, don't elect fucking morons.

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      Of course the politicians involved are retards. They're just doing what the FBI and NSA are telling them to do. So far as these stunningly mindless halfwits are concerned, computers are magic bosses and those weirdo nerdy wizards should just do what they are told.

      Feinstein having no clue about the simplest aspects of technology I understand, since shes 137 years old, but Burr is only 60 and has likely used a web browser. I think it's more about the "NSA telling them what to do" part than the morons part. More politicians that grew up with computers would certainly help, though.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      But they're all morons though. :(

  • by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:28PM (#51918097) Homepage Journal

    there just isn't anything else to say. this is legislation in the ISIS category meant to hammer society back to 600 AD.

    • by melted ( 227442 )

      >> write your own critters to kill this.

      Do you really believe they actually read any of the stuff you write? All I ever got back were obviously canned responses with not even a passing resemblance with the things I wrote about.

  • by zero_out ( 1705074 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:35PM (#51918147)
    For those who didn't immediately make the connection, the words "no such agency" in the summary was a reference to the nickname for the NSA. It would have been better if they capitalized it as No Such Agency.
  • by CanadianMacFan ( 1900244 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:38PM (#51918163)

    An interesting comment on The Register pointed out that how the law is written it would ban the use of one way hashes to store passwords.

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:39PM (#51918173) Homepage

    Please share your views here, too.
    http://www.feinstein.senate.go... [senate.gov]

    • Can I start my letter with the phrase, "Diane, you ignorant slut!" ???
      • Can I start my letter with the phrase, "Diane, you ignorant slut!" ???

        If you call her "ignorant", then you probably should spell her correctly. It is Dianne.

    • By all means, you are free to waste your time in any way that you see fit, no matter how pointless, but asking the rest of us to join in your little farce is idiotic. Dianne Feinstein does not give one tenth of one shit what "her" "constituents" think, unless you mean her corporate masters. No one on her staff (let alone her) will even do more than skim the top of your letter to see what it's about before clicking the button to send you back a form letter than says "fuck you, I'm not interested" in the nice

    • Last time i wrote her she basically replied with a form letter saying I was wrong. Good luck...

  • by itsownreward ( 688406 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:40PM (#51918185)

    Suppose I use some third-party encryption that is made available anonymously or from another country, so there's no company to compel to reverse it. (Think TrueCrypt, or something from Schneier's Applied Cryptography.) Now suppose I plead the fifth and refuse to decrypt it. What then? We start blocking any site that hosts such a thing? Burn books on cryptography? Ban people from running compilers? Code escrow of all source with the NSA on pain of death?

    Sure, there's the obligatory XKCD wrench decryption [xkcd.com], but otherwise... I'm not sure how this makes a lick of sense.

    • Suppose I implemented a freely available and easily obtainable encryption algorithm...

      This is the problem. The mindless retards who write this kind of legislation are so incredibly stupid they don't understand that outlawing encryption is like trying to outlaw Pi, nuclear fission or Fermat's theorem.

      • Um... IIRC, a southern state (Tennessee?) passed a law defining pi as exactly 3 because it made calculations easier. This explains a lot about the mental capacities of legislators.
        • Um... IIRC, a southern state (Tennessee?) passed a law defining pi as exactly 3 because it made calculations easier. This explains a lot about the mental capacities of legislators.

          It was Indiana.

          And being an Indianan, I hang my head in shame.

    • by snadrus ( 930168 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:56PM (#51918297) Homepage Journal

      It's like the ban on exporting encryption software or source files which had the simple workaround of a bound book of source code being sent overseas to legitimately write compatible software.

      If passed, workarounds would be found.

      Worst-Case: Tech Industry leaves America for saner shores (it's not like these companies are all that patriotic).
      All to prevent fundamentalists from destroying America, well, wait what?

    • Even worse, suppose you use one-time pad encryption, and they can't prove who has the pad?
    • What then? We already went through this a few decades ago when we declared strong encryption as a munition, subject to export restrictions. We're just now getting over the negative repercussions of that little debacle, so naturally, it's time to do the same thing all over again... except its even worse. This time we're denying ourselves strong encryption.

      Third party security software not subject to US laws will, of course, proliferate, and the only ones who will be harmed by this are those who actually d

    • See, here's one of the reasons why this 'legislation' is so stupid: It's like other countries (or the U.S. for that matter) trying to compel a web hosting service that exists outside their borders to do anything: they have no jursidiction, therefore all they can do is make threatening noises. A de-facto banning of encryption is useless since you can't stop https traffic from outside the country.
  • So no more MP3s... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ddtmm ( 549094 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:54PM (#51918279)
    If it bans any algorithm "that can't be decrypted on demand to their original state", that pretty cuts out MP3s, and pretty much every streaming audio and video service. Good luck with that...
    • ... and JPGs and other photo compression algorithms. It might shut down all broadcast and pay TV or radio systems as well. And what about digital voice transmissions over cell, VOIP and traditional land line communications? Prepare to eliminate telephone communication, movie production, DVD, TV, and movie theater entertainment.
    • If it bans any algorithm "that can't be decrypted on demand to their original state", that pretty cuts out MP3s,

      It talks about "intelligible information". E.g., the law requires that a recipient of a court order:

      provide such information or data to such government in an intelligible format; or

      MP3s can be made into intelligible information by a very very large number of programs and devices. You might even say that there are so many programs and devices that use MP3s that mp3 IS an intelligible format all by itself. And the same with streaming video, TV, etc that the other poster worries about. And the same for "file

    • by aralin ( 107264 )

      Well, it bans UDP, because it loses packets. It bans the damn rm -rf command. It bans faulty disk drives. We could go on for a while.

  • Compiling (Score:2, Interesting)

    If lossy compression is affected, wouldn't compiling be affected too?
  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @04:59PM (#51918319)
    Won't forcing all US-made encryption software to include backdoors simply force all encryption software developers overseas??? Any company that wants to remain in the US will have to contract it's encryption out to a non-US company. Thanks, DiFI, for sending my job offshore!
    • Won't forcing all US-made encryption software to include backdoors simply force all encryption software developers overseas?

      No, worse. It will force all web businesses overseas, too; the ones that don't leave will simply be destroyed. It will be illegal to use encrypted passwords!

    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      Read the PGP story. It is a great read. The classified encryption as a munition for some time in order to try and control it. It didn't work. One workaround the export restriction was to print all the source code and post it overseas where it was scaned/OCR/typed. The rest of the world doesn't have restrictions on encryption (then or yet).
  • Ok, Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, explain to me how to insert a back door into a one-time pad encryption system! (One-time pad (OTP), also called Vernam-cipher or the perfect cipher, is a crypto algorithm where plaintext is combined with a random key. It is the only existing mathematically unbreakable encryption.)
    • By the way, unbreakable encryption has been around since 1882! Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • by McGiraf ( 196030 )

      Easy:
        You have to provide a copy on the pad to the government.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      "Ok, Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, explain to me how to insert a back door into a one-time pad encryption system"

      Easy, all OTP ciphers must be registered with the new created FBU run Decipher Unit Message Box service (aka DUMB); which will store the OTP key and provide a hash of the file. All ciphers transmitted must be prefixed with their hash.

      Companies can use this nice RESTFUL API to submit copies of the key to the DUMB service as it is generated; as compliance with the backdoor policies.

      " It is the

  • by KeithIrwin ( 243301 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @05:04PM (#51918343)

    In addition to requiring all encryption products in the future must have backdoors, it also requires that all encryption software from the past already have been backdoored unless you want to have to brute-force it in response to a court order to "render technical assistance".

    If passed, this would open up a novel new extortion attack where you intentionally use non-backdoored software to encrypt some data, thoroughly delete the unencrypted versions, create a lawsuit where that data is part of discovery, and then get your opponent in the lawsuit (who is conspiring with you) to ask the court to order the company which distributed the encryption tool to render the technical assistance needed to decrypt. Thus the company will be on the hook for the cost of all the needed electricity to run all the CPUs or GPUs to brute-force the encryption key, except that you conveniently offer that if they can help work out a settlement in the lawsuit (i.e. pay you or your conspirator), then maybe the lawsuit can be dropped, thus vacating the court order.

  • ".. unless No Such Agency is willing to backdoor its own encrypted communications."

    How many people think there won't be an exemption added to allow "authorized Federal agencies and their agents" to use encryption?

  • by jodido ( 1052890 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @05:19PM (#51918423)
    It doesn't matter what this law will say. What matters--and this is of course true of every law--is how it will be enforced. They don't care about MP3s or even cryptography as such. What they care about is being able to decrypt the communications they want to decrypt. It's much easier from their point of view to write an overly broad law even if it appears stupid because it's only the enforcement that counts, and they control the enforcement.
  • NOT so innocent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by axewolf ( 4512747 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @05:29PM (#51918485)

    What you are supposed to get out of this story:
    "HEHE Look how SILLY this law is!
    That silly old government [with the most educated people in the world filling its offices] keeps making silly dumb laws!
    If only we could get people who understood the ISSUES to make laws for us everything would be OK! OH WELLLLL"

    This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Feigning ignorance to herd people into a viewpoint which is more sympathetic to the subject than the viewpoint of the truth: malicious intent against the viewer.

    This law is a power grab. There is nothing ignorant about it. This is pressure on an important area for the rich/high-class/corporate interest.

    Don't ever fall for this trick!
    Now the question is, why is this site and the referenced news agency helping with this deception? Surely a PROFESSIONAL would be aware of the possibility of this deception? Of course they are.
    So why are they helping?
    It couldn't be because the tangled interests essentially make the media interest and the corporate interest one body could it?
    No, that would be CONSPIRACY and would be very wrong indeed to think about!!!

  • by rezulir ( 688514 ) on Friday April 15, 2016 @05:32PM (#51918501)
    I think those who wrote this brain dead legislation know exactly what they are doing. There is just too damn much freedom on the internets.
  • Soon, the only allowed encryption in the U.S.A. will be ROT26.

  • As the bill would technically outlaw thought... since thoughts cannot be reconstructed entirely in their original state afterwards since even the very act of remembering something can and often does make changes to how that thing is remembered.
  • It also looks like it would outlaw Tor. It mentions communication identifying information which basically equates to a user IP address.
  • ... for quite a while now. American voters have got to break free of the 2-party system. If we don't accomplish a major overhaul of elected officials to a new crew of 3rd party/independent faces SOON, it's gonna be game over. We need a critical mass of politicians operating with the firm knowledge that the ammo box is apparently all we voters have left to get our message across if they don't get with the program.
    For starters, I'd say any candidate who can't get behind this simple, direct effort to undo the

    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      The Greeks viewed "parties" as a corruption of democracy. Of course they had plenty of corruption anyway. We call it representative democracy, i prefer the to call it limited term dictatorship. Once elected officials have no legal obligation to do anything in line with their election promises.
  • "Outlaw file compression by commercial companies"? I'm pretty sure those two asshats are too fucktarded to realize that non-commercial and non-US entities write software. In fact, I'm pretty sure that no part of my last phone was actually manufactured in the USA. I'm also somewhat curious as to whether the requirements of the law could be met by providing a brute-force decryptor that would meet the requirements of the law by allowing decryption of the file sometime between now and 14 trillion years from now
  • When a bill has bipartisan authors and sponsors, watch out! If the party of evil and the party of stupid agree on something, we the people are about to get screwed.
  • Start with a sledgehammer, and file it down to a nice sharp edge. Eh, whatever, as long as we can spy on the state and take away its privacy, it won't matter. But let's all forget about ours. It's gone. But let's not forget that these are elected officials that want to impose this stuff. Y'know, in case you're interested in following the chain of events to its source.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach

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