Image: EFF

Congress is set to vote on a bill that would prevent any government agency from requiring device manufacturers and software developers to implement backdoors in the encryption models for their products. Dubbed the Secure Data Act, this bipartisan initiative is a surprisingly good step toward keeping our data secure from unauthorized government access.

This bill, proposed by Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Ted Poe (R-TX), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL), comes after the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent a delegation of encryption experts to meet with Congress. Part of the Secure Data Act's language clearly prohibits government entities from requiring or requesting companies from "altering the security functions in its product or service, or to allow the physical search of such product." Plus, it forbids the government from seeking court assistance in circumventing this mandate.

Those of you interested, you can read the two-page bill right here. It's not a bad read and it might give you some hope that the U.S. government is making a good effort toward better security. Problems still abound, no doubt about that, but it's better than mass court orders for technology companies to assist the DOJ in bypassing the security of its products. Baby steps, right?