Support for the Enactment of Encryption Legislation

WHEREAS, the enactment of encryption legislation that protects the public safety is absolutely critical; and WHEREAS, the lawful interception of telecommunications is one of the most valuable investigative tools available to law enforcement in identifying and crippling illegal drug activities and drug trafficking organizations; and WHEREAS, the telecommunications industry is developing progressively sophisticated systems, such as personal communications networks, advanced cellular, and integrated services digital networks, which have the capacity for high-speed simultaneous transmissions of video, voice and data; which can be secured from interception by encryption; and WHEREAS, advances in telecommunication technology have adversely impacted court authorized interception of communications; and experience has demonstrated that most sophisticated and dangerous criminals, eager to shield themselves from detection, use state of the art technology to thwart law enforcement; and WHEREAS, if the legislation enacted allows unrestricted use of encryption, criminals will use encryption to prevent interception of telephone conversations in which criminal activity is conducted and hide stored computer data relating to this activity; and WHEREAS, it is essential that law enforcement preserve the status quo of telecommunications interception capability; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), duly assembled at its 104th annual conference in Orlando, Florida, fully supports legislation to preserve the ability of law enforcement to legally intercept telecommunications, and requires the development, manufacture, distribution and sale of only key recovery products. Such legislation would preserve law enforcement’s timely access to plain text of encrypted conversations and information and does not leave critical technological decisions to market forces.