Surveillance-ProofPosted: October 19, 2014
First Apple and then Google announced that they would use encryption on new phones that wouldn’t permit them to help police execute warrants to examine data on a cell phone or other device.
For City Journal, Judith Miller writes: Law enforcement officials in New York and Washington criticized technology superpowers Google and Apple this week for selling cell phones and other devices that cannot be accessed by the government, warning that such technology jeopardizes public safety.
In his first major policy address, FBI director James B. Comey called on Congress and the Obama administration to counter the expanding use of such devices, which he and other law enforcement officials assert endanger efforts to prevent terrorism and fight crime. Without lawful government access to cell phones and Internet devices, Comey warned, “homicide cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free, and child exploitation victims might not be identified or recovered.”
“Law enforcement officials many legitimate ways to obtain the data stored on our devices. Weakening the security of smartphones and trusted communications infrastructure should not be one of them.”
— Nuala O’Connor, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology
Comey, who became FBI director last year, said that he understood Americans’ “justifiable surprise” at former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. government surveillance practices. But Apple and Google’s recent efforts to protect electronic privacy go too far, he maintains. “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,” he said, speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Justice may be denied because of a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive.”
Echoing a similar theme at a breakfast forum sponsored by the Manhattan Institute in New York, NYPD commissioner William Bratton and Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. warned that Google, Apple, and any other company that sells devices that even the product makers cannot access will….(read more)
Judith Miller is a contributing editor of City Journal, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a FOX News contributor.
- FBI Director: Government Surveillance ‘Enhances Liberty’ (commondreams.org)
- FBI Director Calls On Congress To ‘Fix’ Phone Encryption By Apple, Google (huffingtonpost.com)
- FBI Director: Government Surveillance ‘Enhances Liberty’ (blacklistednews.com)
- Monty Henry: FBI Chief Complaining About SmartPhone Encryption (linkedin.com)
- FBI says new phone encryption too tough (stuff.co.nz)
- Not all cases cited by FBI hinge on access to data (sfgate.com)
- FBI director warns against cellphone encryption (therepublic.com)