White House isn’t supporting encryption legislation

The White House won’t offer public support for draft legislation that would empower judges to require companies such as Apple to help law enforcement crack encrypted data, reports Reuters, quoting unnamed “sources familiar with the discussions.”

“The decision all but assures that the years-long political impasse over encryption will continue even in the wake of the high-profile effort by the Department of Justice to force Apple to break into an iPhone used by a gunman in last December's shootings in San Bernardino, California,” the article adds.

The draft legislation from Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, the Republican chair and top Democrat respectively of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is expected to be introduced as soon as this week. The bill gives federal judges broad authority to order tech companies to help the government, but fails to detail what they’d be required to do or describe circumstances under which they could be ordered to help. Nor does the bill create specific penalties for noncompliance, according to Reuters.