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Encryption bill expected this week

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A draft of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s encryption bill is expected to circulate sometime this week, Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told reporters on Monday. The measure — a response to concerns that criminals are increasingly using encrypted devices to hide from authorities — would require firms to comply with court orders seeking access to locked data. “My hope is that you will have it in your hands this week,” Burr said.

Privacy and civil liberties advocates have preemptively campaigned against the bill, arguing it would undermine global security and endanger online privacy. But law enforcement officials and some lawmakers say such a measure is necessary to help police properly conduct criminal and terrorism investigations. The draft is merely a starting point, Burr cautioned. “This is truly a draft piece of legislation,” he said. “It’s for recommendations.”

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