This Encrypted Gun Registry Might Bridge a Partisan Divide

This Encrypted Gun Registry Might Bridge a Partisan Divide

Lily Hay Newman Security 01.29.2021 07:00 AM This Encrypted Gun Registry Might Bridge a Partisan Divide Researchers from Brown University have developed a system that could keep track of firearms while preserving privacy. Save this story for later. Cryptographers envision a platform that can be deployed nationally while also being fully encrypted and decentralized. In the United States, the idea of a federal gun registration database for all firearms is endlessly controversial. Gun rights advocates and libertarians decry it as overreach, while gun control proponents view it as an important step toward accountability. After decades of gridlock, and with an eye toward potential new legislation, cryptographers from Brown University have now proposed a system that could satisfy both sides of the debate. They envision a platform that can be deployed nationally while also being fully encrypted and decentralized. Rather than a consolidated federal repository, each county would control its residents’ firearm data. Yet officials anywhere in the country could still query the system, as they would a regular centralized database, for information about people or guns located elsewhere. Led by Brown’s Seny Kamara, the researchers started the work in 2018 after staffers for US senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) reached out about whether such a project might be feasible. Gun registry databases are so controversial because gun rights proponents see them as a prerequisite to outlawing more firearms. The National Rifle Association has also long fought registration, arguing that criminals often use illegally trafficked weapons and aren’t going to license […]

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