Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Encryption: Selected Legal Issues

Debate has been raging about whether Apple should grant the FBI's request to provide a technological way to obtain encrypted content stored on an iPhone when legally requested. On March 3, 2016 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a new report that "provides background to the ongoing encryption debate, including a primer on encryption basics and an overview of Apple, Google, and Facebook’s new encryption policies." Entitled Encryption: Selected Legal Issues by Richard M. Thompson II, Legislative Attorney and Chris Jaikara, Analyst in Cybersecurity Policy, the authors chose to focus on two questions from the many political, economic, and legal questions being raised: 
  1. Does the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination bar such a request?
  2. Can the All Writs Act federal statue that "provides federal courts with residual authority to enforce its orders be interpreted broadly enough to cover compelled assistance on the part of the device and software manufacturer?"