Grassley questions White House’s commitment to ‘going dark’ solution

Grassley-090507-18363- 0032From Press Release


U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed concern today about recent press reports that call into question the Obama administration’s commitment to balancing privacy and public safety with regard to encryption technology, and requested additional information on the administration’s efforts to address the problem.

At a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testified that widespread inviolable encryption was a “growing threat to public safety” and that “we must find a solution to this pressing problem, and we need to find it soon.”  In a letter to Yates today, Grassley expressed concern that press reports appear to suggest that the administration may not be committed to fully investigating and evaluating all potential solutions to the problem.

The Washington Post recently reported that a working group tasked with finding a solution to the encryption technology issue found four feasible solutions, but the Obama administration has decided not to pursue them.  A separate report in the Washington Post suggested that the administration was considering ruling out support for any potential legislative solutions.  Yates had left open that possibility in her testimony.

“I believe that the Administration should use every lawful tool at its disposal and vigorously investigate each and every potential solution to this serious problem, as your testimony before the Committee implied it would,” Grassley wrote to Yates.

Grassley also requested an update on the status of the Justice Department’s discussions with technology providers on the issue of encryption.

CLICK HERE to read the full text of Grassley’s letter.