The FBI has NSA envy. While the NSA gets all the hot new tools to hack iPhones, Androids and all your favorite social media accounts, the FBI has been left to do regular old police work. This means it has to do pesky things like get warrants, justify itself to judges and perform actual surveillance.
But that requires work and why do work when you can be lazy?
So the FBI has gone on a campaign to erode your privacy rights to make its job far easier. It’s started its own air force that circles the country eavesdropping indiscriminately. It’s got a scary new law passed that allows it to hack suspects all across the country with very little oversight.
And its now pushing to have secret keys implanted in modern encryption software so that it can easily tap into your text messages and emails.
This dangerous plan, which basically subverts the whole purpose of encryption – to be private, has been called out by a variety of tech companies and privacy advocates as lazy policing.
The latest, and most high profile, voice to join the opposition to this terrible idea is Apple CEO Tim Cook, who emphasized the need for strong encryption in a speech in Washington, D.C., on Monday night.
Cook singled out campaign led by FBI director James Comey to require adding intentional weaknesses in the encryption code for law enforcement to encryption technology, such as the encryption used in Apple’s iPhone devices.
Cook said that adding encryption backdoors for the FBI would weaken the security of all devices and “is incredibly dangerous.”
The audience at the Electronic Privacy Information Center awards dinner responded warmly to Cook’s words.
“So let me be crystal clear: Weakening encryption or taking it away harms good people who are using it for the right reason,” he said.
Cook isn’t the only one fighting the government in the new crypto war. Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Will Hurd (R-Texas), both members of the Information Technology Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, are also opposed to such measures.
The pair sent a letter to Comey on Monday which echoed many of Cook’s points.
They highlighted three reasons for opposing the measure:
First, forcing American companies to weaken encryption would fundamentally change the relationship between government, the private sector, and citizens for the worse. It would be impossible to trust any American tech company to protect privacy in this scenario.
Second, if backdoors are created for law enforcement could be accessed by hackers. “It is important to remember that computer code and encryption algorithms are neutral and have no idea if they’re being accessed by an FBI agent, a terrorist, or a hacker,” the letter stated.
Third, any and all mandatory backdoors can easily be circumvented by avoiding American-made products. This would put American industry at a fundamental disadvantage.
The arguments against are logical and well reasoned. The arguments for such measures are just lazy policing. With over 700 new hires coming on board its time the FBI got in shape instead of relying on the erosion of our hard won freedoms to do their job.Stay Connected