- 2020 Democrats refuse to answer our questions about ‘Cats’ 4 Years Ago
- Belle Delphine’s Instagram account removed after mass reporting campaign Today 4:08 PM
- Mariah Carey refuses old-age FaceApp challenge Today 3:19 PM
- Journalists horrified by consolidation of Gatehouse, Gannett Today 3:12 PM
- Facebook and Google could be tracking you on porn sites Today 1:42 PM
- 7 best sites for psychic love readings Today 1:20 PM
- Driver demonstrates why you always need to read road signs Today 12:58 PM
- Area 51 remix video proves it’s the summer of Lil Nas X Today 12:26 PM
- ‘ICE will come’: Convenience store clerk threatens customers speaking Spanish Today 12:11 PM
- Rand Paul dodges questions about 9/11 Victims Fund, says ‘watch Fox News’ Today 11:51 AM
- Report: ‘Stranger Things’ season 4 to begin shooting in October Today 11:03 AM
- AT&T paid Michael Cohen to consult on net neutrality, FBI documents show Today 9:10 AM
- Mysterio’s ruse changes on a second viewing of ‘Far From Home’ Today 9:06 AM
- Twitter overturns Barrett Brown’s third permanent suspension Today 8:49 AM
- How to live stream Liga MX Today 7:56 AM
The next great partisan battle in Congress is upon us.
Encryption aids terrorists by giving them “a free zone by which to recruit, radicalize, plot, and plan” online, Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s counter-terrorism division, argued in front of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Steinbach echoed FBI director James Comey’s calls to expand the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act in order to require access to encrypted mobile phone data in the same way that telecom carriers build legal wiretap capabilities into phone networks in the U.S.
“We’re not talking about large-scale surveillance techniques,” Steinbach said. “We’re not looking at going through a backdoor or being nefarious. We’re talking about going to the company and asking for their assistance.”
The congressional hearing was called “Terrorism Gone Viral.” On Tuesday, Apple’s Cook called “the battle over encryption” an “attack on our civil liberties.”
“Some in Washington are hoping to undermine the ability of ordinary citizens to encrypt their data,” Cook said. He elaborated:
If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too. Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people’s accounts. If they know there’s a key hidden somewhere, they won’t stop until they find it.
Removing encryption tools from our products altogether, as some in Washington would like us to do, would only hurt law-abiding citizens who rely on us to protect their data. The bad guys will still encrypt; it’s easy to do and readily available.
Expect this battle—known as “the new crypto wars”—to continue to pop up and heat up.
The FBI’s push for backdoors into encryption technology is continuously clashing with Silicon Valley’s resistance.
This is a conflict that only Congress can decide. After the congressional strife over surveillance in the Patriot Act, it seems clear that encryption could be the next acute partisan collision over technology in Washington, D.C.
Photo via Kevin Jaako/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.