US introduces bill to improve user privacy

It seems Edward Snowden's revelations are still rocking the American telecommunications service boat.

Ron Wyden, senator for Oregon and member of the Democratic Party, introduced on Thursday the Secure Data act which should protect the privacy and data security of all Americans.

The bill would ban agencies from forcing device manufacturers and software developers to alter their products to make it easier for the agencies to search or carry out surveillance on users.

"Strong encryption and sound computer security is the best way to keep Americans' data safe from hackers and foreign threats," said Wyden in a statement. "It is the best way to protect our constitutional rights at a time when a person's whole life can often be found on his or her smartphone”, the Verge reported Wyden saying.

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks of NSA classified documents, which had shown a massive amount of privacy breaches by the government, big tech companies Apple and Google announced they would start encrypting data on smartphones by default.

The FBI found this alarming, which is why the agency’s head James Corney proposed an update to the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which requires telecommunications companies to provide wiretap access for targeted surveillance.

"The more we as a society rely on these devices, the more important they are to law enforcement and public safety officials," he said in October.

And while the government claims they didn’t request a built-in backdoor, but an entrance through the front door, “with clarity and transparency”, Wyden says his bill is a way to rebuild trust in American technology companies.