Updated December 18, 2018 03:00:13 The federal government has decided to delay a decision on whether the federal Communications Security Establishment (CSE) can mandate encryption for its wireless internet network, according to documents released Tuesday by the National Security Agency (NSA).
The agency is expected to release the new ruling at a press conference on Wednesday, the documents show.
“The Government has made a number of decisions over the past few years to strengthen the ability of the CSE to enforce our nation’s cybersecurity laws and to implement appropriate measures to protect the privacy of all Americans,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We will not take a decision that delays implementation of this necessary requirement.”
The CSE has been working with industry groups to propose new regulations for the industry to comply with encryption.
But the agency has also been grappling with the issue of how to enforce encryption for internet users across the country.
The agency said it was working to resolve that issue by “prioritizing cybersecurity over privacy,” adding that it would “evaluate and re-evaluate” the matter at a later date.
CSE officials told the Wall Street Journal last month that the agency was working with the Department of Justice to decide whether the agency can mandate the use of encryption for all internet users.
In the meantime, the agency’s proposal for how it would enforce encryption will not be finalized until at least the end of the year, the Journal reported.
While the government has said it wants to see encryption implemented “without additional legislative action,” the documents released by the agency did not specifically say what the agency wants.
“This new proposal is in keeping with our longstanding commitment to protect our networks and to encourage innovation,” a spokesperson for the CCE told the Journal.
“At this time, the Government is reviewing our existing guidance and implementing a new proposal in consultation with industry.”
The agency also said that it has been looking into the potential for data leakage on wireless networks and said it would consider “further options” for cybersecurity after a review of its current policy.