U.S. lawmakers expected to introduce major encryption bill

L: House Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX). R: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

Two lawmakers are reported to be planning to unveil details of a major encryption bill Wednesday, as the FBI's battle with Apple continues and a debate grows over what role government should play in regulating technology.

The Hill reports that the long-awaited bill from House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) “would establish a national commission to figure out how police can get at encrypted data without endangering Americans' privacy.”

McCaul first discussed the bill in a speech last December.

Here's the event at which the Senator and Congressman are expected to share details on their measure. Looks like it'll be livestreamed.

Read the intro and weep, privacy and security advocates. This thing could go either way, depending on who ends up on this committee they're apparently proposing. If they get real experts, a Bruce Schneier or a Christopher Soghoian in the mix, someone like that--could be a good thing.

But I'm skeptical.

The spate of terrorist attacks last year, especially those in Paris and San Bernardino, raised the specter of terrorists using secure digital communications to evade intelligence and law enforcement agencies and, in the words of FBI Director James Comey, “go dark.” The same technologies that companies use to keep Americans safe when they shop online and communicate with their friends and family on the Internet are the same technologies that terrorists and criminals exploit to disguise their illicit activity.

In response to this challenge, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have proposed a national commission on security and technology challenges in the digital age. The commission would bring together experts who understand the complexity and the stakes to develop viable recommendations on how to balance competing digital security priorities.

THE HILL: "Week ahead: Encryption fight heats up"

BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER EVENT: "Shedding Light on ‘Going Dark’: Practical Approaches to the Encryption Challenge"