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King: Drafting Bill to Require Access to Cell Phone Data Difficult Balancing Act

AUGUSTA, Maine - The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has begun hearings on cybersecurity as a national security issue.  The goal is to draft legislation forcing electronic device makers, such as cell phone companies, to allow access to data on the devices.

Maine Sen. Angus King says it's going to be a difficult task. "Basically, we are balancing two provisions of the Constitution: provide for the common defense and ensure domestic tranquility, and the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. That's what we are trying to do here."

At issue is increasingly sophisticated encryption of computer and cell phone data. Some want to allow a court to order access through a simple search warrant process; others are concerned about infringing on civil liberties and want a more rigorous review by a court before companies are required to provide access to the information.