Assemblymember Cooper, Sacramento DA Introduce Electronic Anti-Trafficking Legislation

January 21, 2016 |

Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), along with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office announced during the introduction of Assembly Bill 1681 at a Wednesday California State Capitol news conference. The proposed legislation will help law enforcement investigate and prosecute suspected criminals and criminal organizations that are involved in human trafficking and other serious crimes. 

In 2014, cell phone manufacturers began providing new operating systems for smartphones and tablets, these new operating systems employ, by default, “full-disk encryption” (FDE). That can be a problem for law enforcement investigators. 

“Human traffickers are using encrypted cell phones to run and conceal their criminal activities,” Assemblymember Cooper said. “Full-disk encrypted operating systems provide criminals an invaluable tool to prey on women, children, and threaten our freedoms while making the legal process of judicial court orders useless.” 

In a story published on Arstechnica, the bill was criticized by attorney Gautam Hans with the Center for Democracy and Technology. While Gans recognized the need to combat human trafficking, he said the bill was flawed.

"However, I don't think this is the best way to solve that issue. Weakening encryption will do a great deal of harm to the security of the Internet, and it's not clear that it helps with the law enforcement goals," Hans told Arstechnica. "Encryption proposals that include backdoors are fundamentally insecure and would create vulnerabilities that unauthorized actors could exploit."

A text of the bill is not currently available. 

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1 comment

Gregory Jones said...

This is not an anti-trafficking law. It is an anti privacy, give me a back door to get in law.

So many things wrong here. He is using human trafficking as a poster-child smokescreen to hide what he is really doing.

Trust me -- 99% of you have nothing to worry about, he says. Apparently, he thinks over 390,000 of us Californians are slave traders.

A comparable law would eliminate locks so LEO can easily get in the criminals homes, garages, offices, safety deposit boxes, etc. (Nevermind the common purpose of locks).

Trust me? Like we can trust LEO to never abuse the "anti-druglord" civil forfeiture thing? Like we can trust in no abuse of eminent domain? Like we can trust (continue on with your own list)?

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