Compliance Management, Privacy

Comey again denounces default encryption in editorial


FBI Director James Comey again backed his stance against default encryption in an editorial published Monday on Lawfare.

“Going dark,” as he describes it, would not only hinder domestic criminal investigations but also work against terrorist organizations, including ISIL.

“When the government's ability ­­­– with appropriate predication and court oversight ­– to see an individual's stuff goes away, it will affect public safety,” he wrote.

Comey and the FBI's encryption stance is already well-known, especially following a House committee hearing in April about the issue. However, while the government has repeatedly stressed that encryption will harm Americans, researchers argue the opposite.

A paper released Tuesday by a group of well-known security experts, including Susan Landau and Bruce Schneier, emphasizes that building backdoors into devices, specifically for law enforcement, raises legal and ethical questions. It would also, they write, “undo progress on security” during a critical time for the internet.

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