U.S. Senate bill crafted with DEA targets end-to-end encryption

A bill known as the Cooper Davis Act, which requires social media companies and other online platforms to report drug activity to the DEA, has advanced to the Senate floor. Privacy advocates are concerned that this legislation turns companies into drug enforcement agents and exposes them to liability for providing end-to-end encryption. The bill’s “deliberately blind” provision has raised controversy, as it could undermine end-to-end encryption services. Law enforcement argues that end-to-end encryption facilitates criminal activities, while privacy advocates argue that it protects users from surveillance. The bill aims to crack down on drug trafficking facilitated by social media platforms. However, critics argue that determining drug sales is more challenging than identifying child sexual abuse material. Senator Alex Padilla raised concerns about untrained tech companies disclosing private user data to law enforcement without due process. The bill has been supported by the DEA, which claims that drug-poisoning investigations have direct ties to social media. However, privacy advocates emphasize the need for society to consider the role of communication service providers as agents of the government.


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