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Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Bipartisan encryption working group releases roadmap

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday announced the release of a roadmap intended to identify solutions to the ongoing debate surrounding encryption.

Members of the working group include U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA).

“The roadmap adopted by the encryption working group this week paves the path toward identifying solutions to the ongoing national debate surrounding encryption,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), said in a statement. “Members of the working group agree that encryption is a critical tool for protecting Americans’ privacy and security and that private industry must continue to increase its effectiveness. However, challenges remain for law enforcement seeking to protect the American people from criminals and terrorists. We look forward to continuing our work on this important issue.”

The roadmap consists of five installments, including duration, member and staff meetings, site lists, document/testimony submission, and the final product.

The duration will cover several months with a goal of being completed by the end of the Congressional session. Members and staff will conduct meetings with state, federal and local government entities, former government officials, private industry and trade associations, civil society organizations, consultants and legal experts, academia, and cryptographers. These members will then participate in a variety of site lists to conduct meetings and receive technical briefings on encryption.

Outside groups will be encouraged to submit in writing white papers, scholarly articles or testimony to facilitate the working group’s efforts. The final product will consist of members reporting their findings to the House.