F calls smartphone encryption a ‘huge problem’

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FBI calls smartphone encryption a 'huge problem'

Maybe we can just have a peek within, OK?

Image: NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Federal Bureau of Analysis really, really wants to be able to accessibility the contents of your smartphone. My numbers were so high, in fact , that the agency’s director simply threw a small fit over what he or she described as a significant problem obscuring the particular view of his digital panopticon: Your phone’s encryption.  

In an October 22 speech on the International Association of Chiefs associated with Police Conference, director Christopher Wray bemoaned the FBI’s inability to reach the data of approximately 6, 900 mobile phones this fiscal year. According to the Associated Press, which reported on Wray’s comments, this number represents more than half of all the devices the company attempted to access during that time.  

“To put it mildly, this is a huge, huge problem,” the wire service reviews Wray as observing. “It impacts investigations across the board — narcotics, human trafficking, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, gangs, organized crime, child exploitation.”

And we might have had a little sympathy for your encryption-related travails of our nation’s police force if the FBI wasn’t so in the past full of it on that particular issue. But it most certainly has been, and one require look no further than the agency’s efforts push Apple to unlock an iPhone â€? claiming it was unable to do so with no tech company’s help â€? simply to turn around and do it sans Apple’s assistance anyway.  

That previous history of misrepresentations, seemingly intended to get public support for the FBI’s place, should inform the public’s reading through of Director Wray’s recent remarks. Because in the end, his words examine as designed to stoke fear to be able to push an anti-encryption agenda. Please remember, encryption translates to your privacy â€? both from unlawful government lookups and from criminals. Weakening the particular protections on your smartphone means placing your data at additional risk with regard to abuse.  

Importantly, Wray had been specifically addressing the encryption associated with seized devices � not marketing communications in transit � and should not have to get taken to mean the FBI has already established any problems reading the sold messages of suspected criminals (or anyone else the agency has in the crosshairs).

“Encryption that frustrates forensic investigations will be a fact associated with life from now on for law enforcement firms, ” the BBC reports Wray as adding.  

In the finish, law enforcement is always going to want entry to more data, and FBI pushback against consumer privacy and safe guards are to be expected. That doesn’t mean we need to take that pushback seriously, nevertheless.  

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