A commission could offer a "more pragmatic approach" than the current encryption debate, said Susan Hennessey, a national security fellow at the Brookings Institution and former National Security Agency lawyer. "Getting people in a room who are willing to, as a matter of first principle, believe there might be a solution, represents a step forward."
But a presidential panel already voiced strong support for end-to-end encryption in 2013, noted Michael German, a former FBI agent who's now a fellow in the Brennan Center for Justice's Liberty and National Security Program.
The FBI and other government agencies have "not heeded these recommendations," he said.
The government wants digital technologies to build in more access to information than it demands from other products, German added.
"We don't require the people who manufacture paper shredders to have a chip that records and scans that document so it's recoverable," he said. "The piece of technology that has destroyed more evidence than any other ... is the flush toilet, and yet we realize the benefits of indoor plumbing to our society outweigh the fact that certain evidence is going to be beyond the government's reach."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.