Top federal officials in the United States are debating whether to introduce a new legislation to outlaw end-to-end encryption that would also enable security agencies to deploy encryption backdoors into devices under the garb of national security.
According to a recent report from Politico, a National Security Council meeting took place on Wednesday last week that involved deputy-level officials from various key U.S. agencies discussing whether new legislation should be introduced to ban the use of end-to-end encryption by private companies.
End-to-end encryption restricts security agencies' ability to read data stored in devices to identify terrorists and lawbreakers and considering that everyone uses a mobile device nowadays, security agencies believe that gaining backdoor access to devices is essential for ensuring national security.
"The two paths were to either put out a statement or a general position on encryption, and [say] that they would continue to work on a solution, or to ask Congress for legislation," said a person familiar with the matter to Politico. However, the meeting of deputies from various security agencies did not produce a decision.
Politico also noted that there is a lack of consensus among federal agencies as far as banning end-to-end encryption is concerned. While FBI and the DoJ are in favour of encryption backdoors, the Commerce and State Departments believe that introducing encryption backdoors could result in "economic, security and diplomatic consequences".