FBI Director Says Government Should Force Apple and Android to Share Encrypted User Data

October 20, 2014   |   Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler
October 20, 2014

(TheAntiMedia) WASHINGTON, D.C.- In a talk late last week at the Brookings Institute, FBI Director James Comey lamented the recent announcements of Apple and Android that they would be encrypting user data. Though the FBI has been vocal about its objections to this, Comey took it a step further in his speech.

He said that companies should be,

“developing [law enforcement] intercept solutions during the design phase,”

suggesting that private companies should tailor products to government surveillance desires.

He also suggested that,

“Congress might have to force this on companies…Maybe they’ll take the hint and do it themselves.”

One way or another, the director assumes his agency will get what it wants. The FBI has already thoroughly accessed user data through data mining NSA collections. Though it submitted 1,800 requests to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court last year alone, the FBI wants more, and wants it legislated by the federal government.

In addition to believing it is acceptable for the FBI to pry data using the force of government decree, Comey also diminished the notion of data encryption in general at his talk (where no tech experts were asked to participate). He argued that it is a “marketing” technique:

Encryption isn’t just a technical feature; it’s a marketing pitch … it’s the equivalent of a closet that can’t be opened. A safe that can’t be cracked… And my question is, at what cost?”

While he acknowledged that Apple and Google were responding to user demand, he implicitly dismissed the validity of such demands by insisting that Congress allow the FBI to spy, anyway. He criticized the very demands he claims to respect by arguing that

“If the challenges of real-time interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place…Perhaps it’s time to suggest that the post-Snowden pendulum has swung too far in one direction—in a direction of fear and mistrust.”

While  private companies are responding to user demand, the government has thus far done little to respond to citizen concern over domestic spying, ignoring the main article the NSA claims allows intrusive spying.

Comey repeatedly cited catching “bad guys” during his talk, though he stated last week on CBS’ 60 Minutes that Americans shouldn’t trust their government. He said:

“I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power.”

I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power. The founders knew that. That’s why they divided power among three branches, to set interest against interest. – See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/FBI+Director+Dont+Trust+Government+But+Give+It+Your+Data+Without+Transparency/article36711.htm#sthash.ZRd306CT.dpuf
I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power. The founders knew that. That’s why they divided power among three branches, to set interest against interest. – See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/FBI+Director+Dont+Trust+Government+But+Give+It+Your+Data+Without+Transparency/article36711.htm#sthash.ZRd306CT.dpuf

Perhaps the “bad guys” are the government Comey works for. The FBI’s super-secretive Data Intercept Technology Unit was integral to crafting the PRISM program, which collected mass user data from major American communication companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Skype, Google, and Yahoo and infuriated companies, citizens and privacy groups. It was also the FBI that petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to force Verizon to hand over user data.

During his talk, Comey ironically lamented the loss of rule of law in America that apparently comes with Apple and Google’s new strategy of “going dark”:

“It might be time to ask: Where are we, as a society? Are we no longer a country governed by the rule of law, where no one is above or beyond that law…Are we so mistrustful of government—and of law enforcement—that we are willing to let bad guys walk away?”

By advocating even further intrusion of government agencies into the lives and privacy of Americans, this is exactly what FBI director is advocating.

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Author: Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. Her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised.

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28 Comments

  1. Is he also willing to make his own FBI transparent with oversight from the public?

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  2. "Are we so mistrustful of government—and of law enforcement—that we are willing to let bad guys walk away?” The government and law enforcement are those bad guys walking away from their crimes against us. Encryption is meant to stop the bad guys -you, Mr. Comey

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  3. Dear U.S. government. Obey the Constitution or you are enemy criminals of the people and the people won't trust you. We demand that you allow us to live with risk rather then be enslaved and violated in a so called false sense of safety. Our liberties are non negotiable.

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  4. "While private companies are responding to user demand, the government has thus far done little to respond to citizen concern over domestic spying, ignoring the main article the NSA claims allows intrusive spying."

    This this this this this! Why on earth should we be "swinging" back in the FBI's direction when they've done NOTHING to put even a little bit of a break on spying on us. We learn new thing's about their spying daily. How would that make us feel secure?

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  5. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  6. Big brother will learn during civil war 2 not to fuck with the constitution. I think there should be more rules and regulations towards the government more than against it's own people to prevent a civil war 2.

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  7. This crying session is brought to you but the same fine folks that brought us Ruby Ridge. Why should we not trust them?

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  8. Even with the supposed encryption, be mindful of your dealings. Who is to say the FBI won't crack the encryption and "forget" to tell everyone they are once again listening? Who is to say this isn't all a ruse to cause everyone to let their guards down? I strongly recommend everyone read the book "1984" if they haven't already done so.

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  9. Um. Tell that to the Japanese Americans in 1942. We have no Rights or Liberties.

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  10. I'm not sure if this is poor journalism or if the FBI director is being obtuse, but I want to know specifically what kinds of crimes he is referring to when he says he needs information to catch "bad guys".

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  11. according to an article i read on sunday, the encryption wont stop them from intercepting and understanding phone calls or txt as they are being sent; just the data on the phone, such as phone book, and files on the phone.

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  12. Grab your firearms. ILLUMINATI is at a DEFCON FIVE. They are ready to strike against the NAZI Fourth Reich Government. The Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson of Sir Patrick Henry took charge of the ILLUMINATI Militia. And, this is the same ILLUMINATI Alex Jones talks about. We are the good guys.

    Joey what happened to Japanese-Americans was a Black Ops Operation. Have the ILLUMINATI known it would never have happened. The Internment Camps would have been destroyed and the creators assassinated.

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  13. Chloe Belle De Vil Sorry, I've been to Manzanar at Mt. Whitney. There's not one thing black ops about it. Please seak professional help my friend. It's worthwhile.

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  14. "Perhaps it’s time to suggest that the post-Snowden pendulum has swung too far in one direction—in a direction of fear and mistrust."

    Yes, we have swung too far to fear and mistrust of the government, but because of his fear and mistrust of us he wants the ability to access our data. Sounds like a contradiction to me.

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  15. Joey Wehrlie You had almost every male on the Front Lines in Europe and Pacific. You had all the women working in the military industrial complex. Not to many knew about the Internment Camps and were not in newspapers, hence Black Ops. If we had media like today and internet it would never have happened.

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  16. Dear FBI, Piss Off!

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  17. "Are we no longer a country governed by the rule of law, where no one is above or beyond that law…Are we so mistrustful of government—and of law enforcement—that we are willing to let bad guys walk away?”

    Yes.

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  18. Yeah, encryption is not going to prevent them from intercepting and reading communications. It will only make it more cumbersome and resource intensive to do so, so it will minimize their scope, but not eliminate their capabilities.

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  19. NSA I know you can read this…Tell the FBI to go fuck themselves. You didn't stop 9/11 and your Gestapo tactics are not going to be tolerated by constitutional people of the U.S.

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  20. I think maybe pink slips and permanent bars to rehire of all supervisors and directors, if we have to have them at all, we can stand to have EMPLOYEES who respect the constitution. If you hired a plumber you wouldn't let him demand that you remodel your bathroom. It's time to put shitty employees out to pasture. Obviously too big for their britches.

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  21. Joey Wehrlie Mt Weather Virginia, continuance of government program?

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  22. Maybe we could insist on them eliminating one position per percent, per day, every time their 'approval rating' goes under 75%. I think that would get the attitude corrections we need.

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  23. Search warrants are SPECIFIC not general,
    Sincerely,
    4th amendment.

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  24. Alan Cherry We're talking about people who don't care about our rights. The 4th amendment means nothing to them. If they can find a way to snoop, they will, remember the NSA and Edward Snowden?

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