The tech community's solutions WAY too often feel like they're motivated only by libertarian concerns for freedom which, while extremely important, are not exhaustively fundamental or final to -- and certainly do not settle the question for -- non-libertarians.
We are not surfs, we are not subjects.
Without the trust of its people, a government is not legitimate, has no "right" to look at its people's behavior, is simply afraid of losing power.
If instead of spying, governments focused on increasing overall goodwill there could be trust, not suspicion, on both sides of this encryption line.
Again, not many people live in or around the libertarian bubble. And there are lots of intelligent people who avoid it for very, very good reasons.
Also, I think there's something different about getting access to someone's digital communications that makes digital data different from data previously obtained by warrants. Digital databases increasingly contain the entire history of people's communications. That's never been true before and it warrants additional discussion at the very least.
The other argument against this bill is it is unenforceable. Terrorists won't be using the government-mandated encryption tools. They'll create their own.
This is an opportunity for technologists to step up and take a larger role within government by educating representatives and the public, starting campaigns or non-profits, or perhaps running for office.
Remember right now a huge proportion of the US population does NOT agree with us, no matter how many facts you explain to them.
Telling, for example, president Obama that he's an idiot and doesn't understand technology is both a lie and not helpful. He has hundreds of advisors who each know as much as the smartest of us here.
Firstly because, well, that's just the way it is sometimes. Putting a gate in your wall can let in bad guys who can plunder your city, yes. But it can also let in good guys who can fortify it. You just need to design and use your gate well...and, I suppose, think of the government as good guys. (Soz, I've been indulging in some nostalgia with AOE 2: HD recently....)
And two: who says this has to involve decreasing IT security? I haven't seen enough evidence of cooperation between the gov't and the tech industry on this for me to believe that an agreement on this would require decreasing IT security.
Which type of system would you feel safer guarding all of your most personal information in? Keep in mind that the system doesn't care if you're a "bad guy" or a "good guy":
1. A system which was designed to be "unbreakable"
2. A system which was designed to be breakable
Without encryption there is no IT security (if there even was such a thing).
Love me some AOE btw.