Rep. Darrell Issa at a House meeting. Photo courtesy Issa's office
Rep. Darrell Issa at a House meeting. Photo courtesy Issa’s office

Rep. Darrell Issa, one of Congress’ leading voices on Internet issues, sharply criticized Friday a Senate bill that would require technology companies to provide government with technical assistance to access encrypted data.

Details of the bill being drafted by Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina and Diane Feinstein of California were published late Thursday evening. The bill is in response to the FBI’s difficulty pulling data from an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

“The legislation leaked today is about as flawed and technically-naive as a piece of legislation can get. Mandating that companies weaken our security to give government secret backdoor access into our devices would be a massive blow to American’s right to privacy and would frankly also be downright dangerous,” said Issa, who chairs the House Judiciary subcommittee responsible for the nation’s Internet policy.

“As Americans are living more and more of their lives not only online but also in-concert with more connected devices than ever before, Americans deserve to know that the information retained on these devices will remain secure,” he said.

Issa, who represents north coastal San Diego and south Orange counties, said he respected Burr and Feinstein and planned to work “to educate lawmakers on why encryption makes us all safer — and not the other way around.”

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.