Conflicting Views of Safety, Vulnerability and Privacy Fuel Encryption Debate

FBI Director James Comey says end-to-end encryption hinders law enforcement – if authorities cannot access evidence on a phone or a laptop, “it will have ongoing, significant impacts on our ability to identify, stop, and prosecute” criminals, including terrorists, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee when he testified alongside Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates on July 8, 2015.  That was the day after a group of 14 security experts released a report warning that giving government special access to encrypted data will endanger critical infrastructure and make the public less safe.  We discuss the report and the Senate testimony, and the bitter encryption debate.  See also “In a Candid Conversation, FBI Director James Comey Discusses Cooperation among Domestic and International Cybersecurity Law Enforcement Communities (Part Two of Two),” Cybersecurity Law Report, Vol. 1, No. 6 (Jun. 17, 2015).

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