FBI Director: 'We Don't Want To Break Encryption Or Set A Master Key Loose'

FBI Director: 'We Don't Want to Break Encryption or Set a Master Key Loose'

At this point, the Apple-FBI scrap over putting a backdoor in iOS has started to get a little messy. Now, the FBI's director James Comey has spoken out in an attempt to calm the situation, writing that "the San Bernardino litigation isn't about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message". In an op-ed published by Lawfare, Comey writes that the "particular legal issue" over which Apple is objecting is "actually quite narrow". He goes on to defend the FBI's position, writing:

The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve. We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist's passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That's it. We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land. I hope thoughtful people will take the time to understand that. Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn't. But we can't look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don't follow this lead.

He notes that the case highlights the fact that new technology "creates a serious tension between two values we all treasure: privacy and safety", but also claims that the "tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living [... nor ...] the FBI". Instead, he argues, "it should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before."

Some may argue that Apple is vocalising the views of many people whose voices would struggle to be heard otherwise — others may disagree. Either way, Apple will deliver its final response to the courts later this week.

[Lawfare]


Comments

    Because the American government has never once stepped beyond its boundaries of lawful surveillance before. Totally trustworthy.

    it should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before

    Isn't that essentially what people are doing when they decide to enable the self-Destruct feature on their phone?

    But damn, nice stab with the looking survivors in the eye part. They've suffered enough, clearly, Surely as a society we can all come together and give up our privacy and self security.... for the survivors. Damn, Really gets those heart strings tugging.

    I feel bad for the victims and all, but the individuals right to privacy should never be violated.

    However my wife on the other hand believes in an unspoken societal contract that when violated, revokes all your rights as a person in modern society

    “the San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message”.
    Might not be what they're TRYING to do, but it is kinda what they ARE doing. That's pretty much how precedent works. You do something once, you can always do it.

    Last edited 23/02/16 6:47 pm

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