FBI Director Comey: Communications Devices Going Dark Hurts Crime Solving


In his first major policy speech, FBI director James Comey today will discuss the debate between law enforcement and technology companies about new programs intended to protect personal information on communication devices, reports the New York Times. Comey plans to say that encryption technologies used on devices like the new iPhone have become so sophisticated that crimes will go unsolved because law enforcement officers will not be able to get information from them.

The speech was prompted partly by the new encryption technology on the iPhone 6. The phone encrypts emails, photos and contacts, thwarting intelligence and law enforcement agencies, like the National Security Agency and FBI, from gaining access to it, even if they have court approval. The FBI has long had concerns about devices “going dark.” Comey believes the new encryption technology has evolved to the point that it will adversely affect crime solving. The new programs will most severely affect state and local law enforcement agencies, the ones who most often investigate crimes like kidnappings and robberies in which getting information from electronic devices in a timely manner is essential to solving the crime.

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