Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s vice chairman, have unveiled the draft of a bill that would require technology companies to help law enforcement agencies decipher encrypted data in compliance with court orders.
Burr’s office said in a release posted Wednesday the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016 would compensate firms for costs incurred for offering technical assistance in data decryption efforts.
The proposed bill would cover software manufacturers, electronic and remote communication service providers, data storage and processing firms and device makers.
“I have long believed that data is too insecure, and feel strongly that consumers have a right to seek solutions that protect their information – which involves strong encryption,” Burr said.
“I do not believe, however, that those solutions should be above the law,” he added.
“We need strong encryption to protect personal data, but we also need to know when terrorists are plotting to kill Americans,” Feinstein said.
The draft legislation comes after the litigation between the FBI and Apple over the decryption of an iPhone used by a gunman in the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.