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Shedding Light on 'Going Dark': Practical Approaches to the Encryption Challenge

Bipartisan Policy Center
1225 Eye St. NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
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The spate of terrorist attacks last year, especially those in Paris and San Bernardino, raised the specter of terrorists using secure digital communications to evade intelligence and law enforcement agencies and, in the words of FBI Director James Comey, “go dark.” The same technologies that companies use to keep Americans safe when they shop online and communicate with their friends and family on the Internet are the same technologies that terrorists and criminals exploit to disguise their illicit activity.

In response to this challenge, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have proposed a national commission on security and technology challenges in the digital age. The commission would bring together experts who understand the complexity and the stakes to develop viable recommendations on how to balance competing digital security priorities.

The Bipartisan Policy Center held a conversation with the two lawmakers as they rolled out their legislation creating the McCaul-Warner Digital Security Commission followed by a panel discussion highlighting the need to take action on this critical issue.


Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
Member, Senate Intelligence Committee

Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Chairman, House Homeland Security Committee


Chris Inglis
U.S. Naval Academy’s Robert and Mary Looker Distinguished Chair for Cyber Studies
Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency

Jim Lewis
Director and Senior Fellow, Strategic Technologies Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Susan Hennessey
Fellow in National Security Law in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution

Michael German
Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, New York University School of Law

Moderated by:

David Perera
Cybersecurity Reporter, POLITICO


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