Press Releases

Washington - Several law enforcement advocacy groups and senior law enforcement officials have recently announced their support of draft legislation from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) which reinforces that all entities must comply with court orders to protect Americans from criminals and terrorists. The draft legislation, Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, will ensure that no one is above the law.

Those who have announced their support of the draft proposal include New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance as well as the FBI Agents Association, National District Attorneys Association, Major Cities Police Chiefs Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police and Major Counties Sherriff’s Association.

“I’m pleased to have the support of so many state and local law enforcement officials,” said Senator Feinstein. “They’re the ones on the front lines who see how warrant-proof encryption can harm investigations and jeopardize prosecutions. Because terrorists and criminals are increasingly using encrypted communication devices and messaging applications to foil law enforcement efforts, Chairman Burr and I have drafted legislation that will require technology companies to provide technical support or decrypted information when there is a court order to do so. Encrypted communication shouldn’t be off limits to law enforcement when there is a court order. No individual or company is above the law.”

“Having law enforcement officials behind this proposal emphasizes that this draft proposal is needed,” said Senator Burr. “I’ve spent the better part of the last year exploring the challenges associated with criminal and terrorist use of encrypted communications. Our draft legislation requires entities to provide law enforcement with data in a readable format when served with a court order. Law enforcement can then conduct informed investigations using the communications involved in criminal and terrorist activities. I’m appreciative of their support.”

The senators are in the process of soliciting input from the public and key stakeholders before formal introduction.

Supporters of the Burr-Feinstein Encryption Draft Proposal

  • Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney of New York County:

  • William J. Bratton, New York City Police Commissioner: