Crypto: State of the Law

Presented at DEF CON 24 (2016), Aug. 6, 2016, 5 p.m. (60 minutes)

Strong end-to-end encryption is legal in the United States today, thanks to our victory in what’s come to be known as the Crypto Wars of the 1990s. But in the wake of Paris and San Bernardino, there is increasing pressure from law enforcement and policy makers, both here and abroad, to mandate so-called backdoors in encryption products. In this presentation, I will discuss in brief the history of the first Crypto Wars, and the state of the law coming into 2016. I will then discuss what happened in the fight between Apple and the FBI in San Bernardino and the current proposals to weaken or ban encryption, covering proposed and recently enacted laws in New York, California, Australia, India, and the UK. Finally, I will discuss possible realistic outcomes to the Second Crypto Wars, and give my predictions on what the State of the Law will be at the end of 2016.