FBI Calls For Legislation To Give Government Access To Encrypted Data

BY Heather Greenfield
October 16, 2014

Washington – In a speech at the Brookings Institution today, FBI Director James Comey’s called on Congress to pass legislation giving the government statutorily mandated access to the encrypted data on peoples’ smartphones.

Comey had previously criticized companies like Apple and Google for offering customers new encryption tools to protect smartphone data. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The FBI is basically saying we don’t need technology to limit government access – that we can rely on legal protections. Unfortunately, hackers are not bound by the law, and there is potential for misuse of vast amounts of data by not just the US government, but oppressive governments around the world that have fewer legal barriers or privacy protections for their citizens. What we do will be a model for the rest of the world.

“The implications of a government backdoor to smartphone data, no matter how secure, are far-reaching because smartphones contain so many intimate details about a user’s life.

“Technology companies have an obligation to protect the information entrusted to them and give customers around the world the tools that they demand to protect their data. The biggest barriers to the kind of legislation the FBI is requesting are the tens of millions of people who don’t want the government to have easy access to their devices and personal information.”

For more on this, see Ed Black’s Huffington Post piece on the FBI and smartphone surveillance: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edward-j-black/as-surveillance-reforms-l_b_5958352.html

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