Statement by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. on Draft Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure Lawful Access to Digital Evidence

April 8, 2016

“On behalf of state and local law enforcement agencies and crime victims nationwide, I thank Senators Burr and Feinstein for their ongoing work on this comprehensive, bipartisan legislation. The draft U.S. Senate bill currently under discussion restores the authority of neutral judges to require meaningful compliance with their orders.

“For the past year and a half, Apple and other large technology companies have effectively decided who can and cannot access crucial evidence in criminal investigations. In the absence of legislation to address the seismic impact of warrant-proof encryption on public safety, they have rendered themselves – not judges – gatekeepers of critical information necessary to solving crimes on behalf of victims across the nation.”