Congressman asks to bar NSA’s “back doors” to encryption

State Surveillance Repeal Act would remove a lot of the government’s spying powers

Documents recently revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was waging a war on encryption—the electronic scrambling that protects e-mail, online transactions and other communications—in an effort to counter Internet privacy protections and obtain information. But one congressman has decided to fight back.

Representative Rush D. Holt Jr., a democrat from New Jersey who also happens to be a physicist, has introduced legislation that would prohibit the NSA from installing encryption “back doors,” which would allow access to information. Holt says in using back doors to encryption, the NSA is overreaching and may be hurting American interests, as well as the reputations of companies with products the NSA may have influenced or altered as a result of these back doors.


Cathleen Flahardy

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