FBI director says legal war on encryption far from over

Posted:
in General Discussion
FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said the U.S. government will continue to wage legal war with tech companies to gain access to encrypted devices, intimating that such measures are weakening terror organizations like ISIL.




At an FBI briefing, Comey said gaining privileged access to passcode locked -- or otherwise protected -- devices is an important national security concern as encryption is now "essential tradecraft" of terror groups, reports Reuters. He suggested FBI investigations, including those that involve digital evidence retrieval, are helping dissuade Americans from joining militant groups.

"I think the ISIL brand has lost significant power in the United States," Comey said, adding that his agency currently has more than 1,000 ongoing investigations into individuals in danger of being radicalized.

The Department of Justice sparked contentious debate over rights to personal encryption when it requested Apple cooperate in accessing deceased San Bernardino terror suspect Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone in February. Apple, citing the potential fallout of creating a software workaround to installed iOS protections, resisted the warrant. At the behest of an All Writs Act motion, a federal magistrate judge consequently compelled Apple's compliance, but the court action stopped short of reaching an initial evidentiary hearing, as an effective workaround presented by an outside party prompted the FBI to withdraw its case in an eleventh hour decision.

According to today's report, the FBI is attempting to apply the iPhone exploit to other cases, but has so far been unsuccessful. Comey said much the same last month when he revealed the forensics tool only applies to iPhone 5c models and older. The FBI has unlocked some 500 devices since October, though none are the same configuration as Farook's iPhone 5c running iOS 9.

Comey did not elaborate on upcoming litigation, but the FBI has yet to notch a win when it comes to AWA motions. The agency appears to be focusing on Apple, lodging -- and ultimately withdrawing -- two high-profile court cases in San Bernardino and a similar AWA action in New York.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    So, the FBI is at war with the US public and chasing unicorns too (war with encryption (sic)).

    The FBI is hoping people will put short passcodes? Hope away dear FBI, cause that's the only way you're getting into those encrypted phones.

    The use of the word unlocked for those phone is utter bullshit; just like the abuse of the word "hacked".

    This is complete and utter nonsense Comey; nice try though.

    Hire a better bull shit artist next time.
    roundaboutnowlondorlatifbpewtheckmancalibaconstangRayz2016mwhitejbdragontdknox
  • Reply 2 of 28
    iushntiushnt Posts: 23member
    foggyhill said:
    So, the FBI is at war with the US public and chasing unicorns too (war with encryption (sic)).

    The FBI is hoping people will put short passcodes? Hope away dear FBI, cause that's the only way you're getting into those encrypted phones.

    The use of the word unlocked for those phone is utter bullshit; just like the abuse of the word "hacked".

    This is complete and utter nonsense Comey; nice try though.

    Hire a better bull shit artist next time.
    Nonsense comment
    urahara
  • Reply 3 of 28
    you've lost all credibility, director comey.  please stop talking.
    londorlatifbpcalinumenoreanuraharajbdragontdknoxlostkiwi
  • Reply 4 of 28
    lord amhranlord amhran Posts: 902member
    This asshole needs to read the Bill of Rights. And while we're at it, so does Congress & the President
    latifbplondorbaconstangnumenoreanuraharamwhitenouserjbdragonstevehlostkiwi
  • Reply 5 of 28
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    So ISIL's brand is tarnished? How does the FBI looking into 1000 potential suspects (Who have not done anything wrong that we know of) because they might be "radicalized" at some point mean that the ISIL brand is tarnished? If there are a legitimate 1000 people on the verge of being radicalized, it sounds like business is booming for ISIL.

    How does Comey not see that this is tarnishing the FBI's brand? He really needs to stop talking. 
    numenoreanuraharanousersteveh
  • Reply 6 of 28
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Wow not even hiding the fact he's a scumbag.

    next thing he'll be flat out saying "the war on your property is not over!!"
    Rayz2016numenoreanjbdragonmike1
  • Reply 7 of 28
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 508member
    A few interesting facts to combat FBI director's obvious snooping agenda.

    1. Anyone, including potential terrorists, can roll their own encryption. They don't need Apple or other IT firm to provide it to them as a built in feature. Thus requiring Apple to break the security of their devices will not stop a terrorist from using encryption, it only harms the ordinary, law-abiding individuals right to privacy.

    2. The most successful terrorist attacks in recent history have used devices that did not employ any encryption. Secondly terrorists are now making a habit of destroying devices that they presumably used to coordinate their attacks, completely circumventing any advantage weaker security would bring to the FBI.

    3. For each terror attack in recent history, including September 11, there were sufficient clues, warning signs, signals and chatter which were completely overlooked by the government authorities leading up to the attack.

    4. Terrorism such as ISIL is the direct result of the USA's exceedingly poor approach to foreign policy. The USA had a president that described the war in Iraq as a "crusade", a high ranking general who proudly bragged that he'd be "eating a big mac in Baghdad." The indiscriminate killing of foreign civilians is a significant driver of recruitment for terrorist groups and those that which to convey extremism. To them it would look as if USA is the aggressor in a genocide-like campaign. It would be trivial for an extremist group to spin the USA's actions as Zionism. This is the USA's core problem, not whether or not they can unlock a digital device used by an attacker after the fact.
    edited May 2016 numenoreancnocbuiuraharacopelanddanhbrucemcjbdragontdknoxbaconstangdaren_mitchell
  • Reply 8 of 28
    Herbivore2Herbivore2 Posts: 362member
    A few interesting facts to combat FBI director's obvious snooping agenda.

    1. Anyone, including potential terrorists, can roll their own encryption. They don't need Apple or other IT firm to provide it to them as a built in feature. Thus requiring Apple to break the security of their devices will not stop a terrorist from using encryption, it only harms the ordinary, law-abiding individuals right to privacy.

    2. The most successful terrorist attacks in recent history have used devices that did not employ any encryption. Secondly terrorists are now making a habit of destroying devices that they presumably used to coordinate their attacks, completely circumventing any advantage weaker security would bring to the FBI.

    3. For each terror attack in recent history, including September 11, there were sufficient clues, warning signs, signals and chatter which were completely overlooked by the government authorities leading up to the attack.

    4. Terrorism such as ISIL is the direct result of the USA's exceedingly poor approach to foreign policy. The USA had a president that described the war in Iraq as a "crusade", a high ranking general who proudly bragged that he'd be "eating a big mac in Baghdad." The indiscriminate killing of foreign civilians is a significant driver of recruitment for terrorist groups and those that which to convey extremism. To them it would look as if USA is the aggressor in a genocide-like campaign. It would be trivial for an extremist group to spin the USA's actions as Zionism. This is the USA's core problem, not whether or not they can unlock a digital device used by an attacker after the fact.
    Well thought out and logical post. Farouk and his wife physically destroyed their personal iPhones. And encryption is not a difficult to develop or implement project such that only the terrorists will be protected should the government do this. 

    My answer will be to vote for Trump. That way people like Comey will also have his personal cell phone monitored also. Obama loves the patriot act so much that it's time for him to be subject to its actions as Trump monitors all of his personal communications also. 
  • Reply 9 of 28
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,226member
    I wonder what is holding Apple back from prioritising TouchID over the Passcode. Is it that Macs currently don't support TouchID? It is so much more convenient to use TouchID over the Passcode.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 508member
    I wonder what is holding Apple back from prioritising TouchID over the Passcode. Is it that Macs currently don't support TouchID? It is so much more convenient to use TouchID over the Passcode.
    It's a security decision. Finger prints are like quickly entered passwords that you can't change. It's better to use them for convenience rather than as the only barrier to entry. For similar reasons Apple's devices disable touch id after a few failed attempts, too long between usage sessions and by design during the rebooting process. This makes it very difficult to emulate your fingerprint via thin latex etched overlays which a nefarious person could use in your absence.
    ration al
  • Reply 11 of 28
    uraharaurahara Posts: 210member
    A few interesting facts to combat FBI director's obvious snooping agenda.

    1. Anyone, including potential terrorists, can roll their own encryption. They don't need Apple or other IT firm to provide it to them as a built in feature. Thus requiring Apple to break the security of their devices will not stop a terrorist from using encryption, it only harms the ordinary, law-abiding individuals right to privacy.

    2. The most successful terrorist attacks in recent history have used devices that did not employ any encryption. Secondly terrorists are now making a habit of destroying devices that they presumably used to coordinate their attacks, completely circumventing any advantage weaker security would bring to the FBI.

    3. For each terror attack in recent history, including September 11, there were sufficient clues, warning signs, signals and chatter which were completely overlooked by the government authorities leading up to the attack.

    4. Terrorism such as ISIL is the direct result of the USA's exceedingly poor approach to foreign policy. The USA had a president that described the war in Iraq as a "crusade", a high ranking general who proudly bragged that he'd be "eating a big mac in Baghdad." The indiscriminate killing of foreign civilians is a significant driver of recruitment for terrorist groups and those that which to convey extremism. To them it would look as if USA is the aggressor in a genocide-like campaign. It would be trivial for an extremist group to spin the USA's actions as Zionism. This is the USA's core problem, not whether or not they can unlock a digital device used by an attacker after the fact.
    A very well structured thoughts on critical issues! Thank you very much. I wish more people could read your post.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member
    FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said the U.S. government will continue to wage legal war with ...
    As if their isn't enough war on this planet. :(
    ration al
  • Reply 13 of 28
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    iushnt said:
    foggyhill said:
    So, the FBI is at war with the US public and chasing unicorns too (war with encryption (sic)).

    The FBI is hoping people will put short passcodes? Hope away dear FBI, cause that's the only way you're getting into those encrypted phones.

    The use of the word unlocked for those phone is utter bullshit; just like the abuse of the word "hacked".

    This is complete and utter nonsense Comey; nice try though.

    Hire a better bull shit artist next time.
    Nonsense comment
    Right...  No argument is an argument (sic). You absolutely floored me little kid.

    It only took 19 posts for you to go into the ignore pile : a record.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,406member
    foggyhill said:
    iushnt said:
    Nonsense comment
    Right...  No argument is an argument (sic). You absolutely floored me little kid.

    It only took 19 posts for you to go into the ignore pile : a record.
    I was actually impressed how many posts it took someone to reply to the troll :). I feel like AI readers are much more troll-savvy than other sites.

    The argument that they can roll their own encryption is an important one. It is often overlooked, and yet, they have been doing it for years. There are a number of open source libraries out there that make this possible. They don't even need to create new ones. There are also a number of apps that fly under the radar that make use of heavy encryption for communication. The FBI is either clueless or on a political path... both thoughts scare me.
    baconstanglostkiwiration al
  • Reply 15 of 28
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,458member
    ...



    FBI Director James "Watch My Lips" Comey
    ...
    I am going to have to get that framed...
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 16 of 28
    longpathlongpath Posts: 217member
    FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said the U.S. government will continue to wage legal war with tech companies to gain access to encrypted devices, intimating that such measures are weakening terror organizations like ISIL.




    At an FBI briefing, Comey said gaining privileged access to passcode locked -- or otherwise protected -- devices is an important national security concern as encryption is now "essential tradecraft" of terror groups, reports Reuters. He suggested FBI investigations, including those that involve digital evidence retrieval, are helping dissuade Americans from joining militant groups.

    "I think the ISIL brand has lost significant power in the United States," Comey said, adding that his agency currently has more than 1,000 ongoing investigations into individuals in danger of being radicalized.

    The Department of Justice sparked contentious debate over rights to personal encryption when it requested Apple cooperate in accessing deceased San Bernardino terror suspect Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone in February. Apple, citing the potential fallout of creating a software workaround to installed iOS protections, resisted the warrant. At the behest of an All Writs Act motion, a federal magistrate judge consequently compelled Apple's compliance, but the court action stopped short of reaching an initial evidentiary hearing, as an effective workaround presented by an outside party prompted the FBI to withdraw its case in an eleventh hour decision.

    According to today's report, the FBI is attempting to apply the iPhone exploit to other cases, but has so far been unsuccessful. Comey said much the same last month when he revealed the forensics tool only applies to iPhone 5c models and older. The FBI has unlocked some 500 devices since October, though none are the same configuration as Farook's iPhone 5c running iOS 9.

    Comey did not elaborate on upcoming litigation, but the FBI has yet to notch a win when it comes to AWA motions. The agency appears to be focusing on Apple, lodging -- and ultimately withdrawing -- two high-profile court cases in San Bernardino and a similar AWA action in New York.
    Under Amendment 10, the FBI should not exist. I'm fine with that as a solution to this problem.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,851member
    A few interesting facts to combat FBI director's obvious snooping agenda.

    1. Anyone, including potential terrorists, can roll their own encryption. They don't need Apple or other IT firm to provide it to them as a built in feature. Thus requiring Apple to break the security of their devices will not stop a terrorist from using encryption, it only harms the ordinary, law-abiding individuals right to privacy.

    2. The most successful terrorist attacks in recent history have used devices that did not employ any encryption. Secondly terrorists are now making a habit of destroying devices that they presumably used to coordinate their attacks, completely circumventing any advantage weaker security would bring to the FBI.

    3. For each terror attack in recent history, including September 11, there were sufficient clues, warning signs, signals and chatter which were completely overlooked by the government authorities leading up to the attack.

    4. Terrorism such as ISIL is the direct result of the USA's exceedingly poor approach to foreign policy. The USA had a president that described the war in Iraq as a "crusade", a high ranking general who proudly bragged that he'd be "eating a big mac in Baghdad." The indiscriminate killing of foreign civilians is a significant driver of recruitment for terrorist groups and those that which to convey extremism. To them it would look as if USA is the aggressor in a genocide-like campaign. It would be trivial for an extremist group to spin the USA's actions as Zionism. This is the USA's core problem, not whether or not they can unlock a digital device used by an attacker after the fact.
    I agree except for #4. There is no indiscriminate killing of civilians. Of course, there are isolated instance that happen in all wars that are magnified now because of current technology and media agendas. We firebombed the Axis and even nuked the Japanese during WWII, yet we do not here about radicalization because civilians were killed. They were beaten until they unconditionally surrendered. Civilian casualties are used as an excuse for their radicalization. It has more to do with the beliefs of the people doing the recruiting.
    badmonk
  • Reply 18 of 28
    hungeduhungedu Posts: 15member
    Touch ID as a sole method of locking a device is not a good idea. U.S. courts are already setting the precedent that it is legal for a court to "compel" a defendant to unlock a device using a fingerprint because the defendant's fingerprint is already on record at the time of arrest. Entering a passcode requires an "internal thought process". Forcing a defendant to enter a passcode would be a violation under the 5th Amendment for self-incrimination, and is therefore far more difficult to circumvent.
    edited May 2016 palominebaconstang
  • Reply 19 of 28
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,664member
    Sorry Comey a backdoor leaves us all vulnerable. Would this moron disallow strong encryption on their servers? 
    ration al
  • Reply 20 of 28
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member

    3. For each terror attack in recent history, including September 11, there were sufficient clues, warning signs, signals and chatter which were completely overlooked by the government authorities leading up to the attack.
    You can go much further back than recent history to demonstrate that that's true.

    Intelligence agencies have to sift through a huge amount of chaff to find a few grains of wheat, and they always have.
Sign In or Register to comment.