A proposed law that would force Apple and other tech companies to decrypt devices for law enforcement agencies has reached the stage of a draft bill – but one Senator has vowed to filibuster it. A filibuster is when a parliamentarian makes a lengthy, uninterrupted speech which results in running out of time to debate the bill, causing it to fail.

The Senate Intelligence Committee first proposed to introduce the bill in February, and the FBI lent its support by briefing two sponsoring Senators. However, many lawmakers oppose the bill, and it has been reported that the White House will not publicly support it.

The Verge now reports that one Senator has pledged to filibuster the bill if it gets as far as a Senate debate …

The most vocal opposition has come from within Congress itself. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) went so far as to pledge a filibuster of the bill if it reaches the Senate floor. “This flawed bill would leave americans more vulnerable to stalkers, identity thieves, foreign hackers and criminals,” Wyden said in an official statement. “And yet it will not make us safer from terrorists or other threats.”

Senator Wyden tweeted that the bill ‘would effectively outlaw tech that Americans use to protect themselves.’

The bill has a long way to go before it gets that far, however. The published draft is effectively a request for comment, and it has been suggested that there is very little chance that the bill would make its way into a packed legislative agenda before the elections.

Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

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