The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The TransPacific Partnership trade agreement has been released, and it goes way beyond resolving a few trade and tariff disputes. US and other trade negotiators leaped into a host of policy and legal matters, including the fight over when governments can demand access to encryption keys.
The outcome to the crypto wars is one that no one would have expected: Jim Comey loses. NSA director Mike Rogers loses. But SEC chairman Mary Schapiro Jo White wins.
In an annex to a chapter on Technical Barriers to Trade, the trade deal specifies that no government may require any company to provide cryptographic keys to its products. http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/8.%20Technical%20Barriers%20to%20Trade%20Chapter.pdf
The only exceptions are for products or networks that actually belong to the government and for "supervisory, investigatory or examination [measures] relating to financial institutions or markets."
So the trade negotiators have spoken. No point in any more debate. The FBI and NSA are out in the cold, but the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission can require companies to cough up their encryption keys.
UPDATE: Corrected SEC chair's name. My fault, but a Google search for "SEC chairman" didn't exactly help.