The Paris terror attacks prove that Americans shouldn't be allowed to keep their communications away from government eyes, according to two key Senate committee chairmen who want to outlaw encrypted communications.
"In the Senate Armed Services we're going to have hearings on it and we're going to have legislation," chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters on Tuesday, calling encrypted communication "unacceptable."
Companies such as Google and Apple have made sophisticated encrypted communications a default setting on their products, which prevents spies from the National Security Agency and other agencies worldwide from surveilling much of what users say to each other. Some in Congress say that the fact terrorists could use the feature means it needs to end.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said he would also seek legislation to prohibit such encryption. "If it means that people are going to have to change their business model, then so be it," Burr said on Tuesday.
While it isn't known whether the terrorists in Paris used encryption to communicate with each other in the days leading up to last week's attacks, Burr believes they did. "We can't tell you today specifically that they were using a specific encrypted platform. We think that's a likely communication tool because we didn't pick up any direct communication," he said.