The director of the FBI doesn’t want you to use technology to encrypt your personal data. He said that for your safety the feds should have unrestricted access to everything you store in a cloud or a hard drive, write in an e-mail, or send in a text. Security, he says, trumps privacy. Besides, only a criminal has something to hide.
Actually, what FBI Director James Comey told the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee is that in order to stay a step ahead of the b ad guys, the g-m en should have access to any available technology to decode encrypted data. And that the government should be the arbiter of when decryption is necessary or not.
Comey made these statements during testimony he gave as part of a panel of “experts” called to speak at a hearing labelled “Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy.”
Tech specialists warn, however, that giving the FBI such access would necessarily open doors to data that could be exploited by “bad actors.”
Comey isn’t persuaded. “It is clear that governments across the world, including those of our closest allies, recognize the serious public safety risks if criminals can plan and undertake illegal acts without fear of detection,” he told the committee.
Once again, the agents of the autocracy are demanding that Americans sacrifice individual liberty on the altar of “national security.” That’s nowhere made clearer than in the following question posed by Comey: “Are we comfortable with technical design decisions that result in barriers to obtaining evidence of a crime?”