- The Lawful Access To Encrypted Data (LEAD) Act, if passed, threatens to make cryptocurrency illegal
A new bill has been introduced into the United States Senate called the Lawful Access To Encrypted Data (LEAD) Act, and it would compromise all forms of encryption and make cryptocurrency illegal. To be clear, this is just a bill at this point and hasn’t been passed into law, but it is a serious threat.
Essentially, this bill calls for all encrypted services to have a built-in backdoor that can be used by government officials. The reasoning for this bill is that criminals and terrorists could use encryption to hide their illegal activity, and therefore encryption which the government cannot easily crack through should be outlawed.
To explain what this means, just think of a smartphone, which typically has a password. Generally, smartphones use powerful encryption technology, and only the user of the phone can unlock it, whereas anyone who doesn’t have the pin code cannot unlock it.
If the LEAD Act was passed, all smartphones would be required to have a backdoor, meaning government officials, like the police, would be able to unlock any phone.
Further, all encrypted messaging systems such as Telegram and Signal would be required to have a government backdoor, so that the government can monitor and log all messages.
This bill even outlaws Bitcoin, because Bitcoin uses cryptographic technology to ensure that only the owner of the private keys can access a wallet. Under this law, Bitcoin would be required to have a backdoor that would allow the government to drain funds out of any wallet.
Of course, Bitcoin nor any other major cryptocurrency will ever integrate a government backdoor even if this law passes, so Bitcoin and pretty much all other cryptocurrencies would technically become illegal.
Ultimately, this bill will cause the complete end of freedom and privacy in the United States, since the government would be able to access all personal data and conversations. It is absurd that the government justifies the destruction of personal freedom and privacy for all Americans by saying that this needs to be done to stop criminals and terrorists, but this is the same excuse that the government always uses to seize more power, and this excuse always seems to work.
Also, it is unclear if this bill targets cryptocurrency, but it definitely makes cryptocurrency illegal, and anti-crypto government officials will use this to attack the crypto space if this bill is passed.
All of that is bad enough but even worse, hackers will crack into the government back door to steal data, identities, and credit card/bank info.
Therefore, not only does this bill destroy freedom and privacy, but it would compromise the integrity and security of encrypted services, leaving countless Americans at risk of being hacked.
Hopefully, this bill does not pass and become a law, since if it did pass it would herald the imminent destruction of the crypto space. This sort of bill seems absolutely unthinkable, but the government has been seizing more power than ever before in recent months, and the passage of this sort of bill doesn’t seem impossible. Therefore, the crypto space needs to closely monitor this bill.
Image Courtesy: Pixabay