FBI Director: We Need A “Regulatory Or Legislative Fix” To Battle Phone Encryption

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey gave a speech at Washington’s Brookings Institution, warning against the consequences of smartphone encryption and discussing the disconnect between technology advancements and law enforcement abilities.

Comey titled the disconnect “Going Dark”, saying that although law enforcement has the authority to access electronic communications through court orders, certain advancements have obstructed agencies from access. With new technology “comes a desire to protect our privacy and our data—you want to share your lives with the people you choose. I sure do,” said Comey. “But the FBI has a sworn duty to keep every American safe from crime and terrorism, and technology has become the tool of choice for some very dangerous people.”

Comey was mainly referring to advancements including Apple’s iOS 8 operating system that allows users to lock their phones with a passcode that neither Apple nor the federal government can bypass. Google has also recently announced similar encryption plans on Android devices. “Encryption is nothing new. But the challenge to law enforcement and national security officials is markedly worse, with recent default encryption settings and encrypted devices and networks- all designed to increase security and privacy,” said Comey.

“In the past, conducting electronic surveillance was more straightforward,” said Comey. “We identified a target phone being used by a bad guy, with a single carrier. We obtained a court order for a wiretap, and, under the supervision of a judge, we collected the evidence we needed for prosecution.”

Today, said Comey, there are many more networks, apps and providers. “We have laptops, smartphones, and tablets. We take them to work and to school, from the soccer field to Starbucks, over many networks, using any number of apps. And so do those conspiring to harm us.”

Comey said the public’s presumption that the FBI has “phenomenal capabilities to access any information at any time—that we can get what we want, when we want it, by flipping some sort of switch” is not true, and despite following the rule of law it remains difficult to access important evidence.

Read the Full Article: Source – Ben Swann

source not found

Related Article

Leave a Reply