FBI Seal

FBI Director Voices Opposition to End-To-End Encryption

FBI Director Christopher Wray has once again gone on the offensive, decrying end-to-end encryption on devices and services. Director Wray stated that the encryption issue is getting “worse and worse” for all levels of law enforcement to get information on criminal activities from devices and services that have end-to-end encryption. The comments came at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

“It can’t be a sustainable end state for there to be an entirely unfettered space that’s utterly beyond law enforcement for criminals to hide,” Wray said. “We have to figure out a way to deal with this problem.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray

The FBI and tech companies like Apple have been at loggerheads over end-to-end encryption for years. It fundamentally began when Apple argued in 2016 that they could not be compelled to write code to break the encryption of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Apple argued it would fundamentally tweaking the security of iOS. At the time, the FBI and Justice Department were demanding a back door to Farook’s iPhone 5c. Apple refused and eventually the two agencies turned to third-party company who were successful in breaking the encryption. Apple has also argued that because of the way that their encryption works, even they as a company cannot break it.

Director Wray suggested in the RSA keynote that the bureau and tech companies were in discussions on how to get around the issue with vague references to potential solutions. What or how those solutions would work were not discussed or detailed.

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