From Justin Elliott of Propublica.org:
An amendment designed to bar the National Security Agency from undermining encryption standards was approved by the House last night.The measure was inserted into a defense appropriations bill and approved on a voice vote.
The move follows reporting last year by ProPublica, the Guardian, and the New York Times on the NSA’s efforts to weaken encryption, including by influencing the development of standards by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The amendment is separate from another one the House adopted last night that is designed to block the NSA from conducting “backdoor” spying on Americans by querying databases of foreign intelligence.
Though neither amendment is law just yet, and have to be voted on first, these are nonetheless exciting developments. If amendments are created that will restrict the NSA’s spying capabilities, no “secret court” or warrant will be enough to grant them the power they presently have. I’m hoping that further amendments will ban most of what the NSA is doing all together, rather than just chipping away at the edges. We’ll have to keep an eye on this!