FBI director says there may be 'solutions' to end-to-end encryption debate

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 5
FBI Director Christopher Wray once again hammered home his opposition on end-to-end encryption on Tuesday, suggesting that there are "solutions" for letting law enforcement bypass security measures without exposing consumers.

Christopher Wray FBI


"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 at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, quoted by Gizmodo. "We have to figure out a way to deal with this problem."

Wray mentioned that long-running talks between the U.S. government and tech companies are still ongoing, but was quiet on details.

"I'm hearing increasingly that there are solutions," he said.

He may be building on the views of people like U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who in 2017 promoted the idea of "responsible encryption," using examples like centralized security keys -- such as the ones Apple uses to comply with warrants for iCloud data -- and sanctioned key recovery methods when someone forgets the password to an encrypted computer.

Those systems are potentially vulnerable to hacking or phishing, however. End-to-end encryption is the most secure form of online communication available, as its design allows only senders and recipients to decipher transmitted contents. Even platform holders like Apple and Facebook are unable to read messages unless they're archived somewhere less secure. As a result, government officials like Wray, Rosenstein and executive assistant FBI director Amy Hess have regularly complained about communications "going dark" to law enforcement and spy agencies.

Apple typically complies with police warrants and National Security Agency requests, but in 2016 famously fought the FBI and Justice Department over demands for a backdoor into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The company argued that it couldn't be compelled to write new code, and that doing so would fundamentally weaken the security of iOS. The DOJ's case ultimately fizzled when it turned to a third-party service that successfully cracked Farook's iPhone 5c.

Partly because of the Farook incident, critics have been skeptical of the "going dark" threat, suggesting that there are often alternatives to intercepting services like iMessage and WhatsApp. Apple and like-minded parties have contended that encryption is essential not just for general privacy, but keeping people safe from hackers and mass surveillance, particularly in countries where leaders may imprison or murder dissenters.

In February, Apple and a collection of trade groups, NGOs, and other tech companies submitted comments opposing an Australian law passed in December which demands businesses help the government access encrypted messages. The view is that the law is too vague, and could be used to demand weakened encryption not just in Australia but eventually in any country within the "Five Eyes" network -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the U.S. Those countries regularly collaborate on intelligence matters, and the network recently claimed that "privacy is not an absolute," with the further assertion that it would aim to access encrypted data through legislation.

The U.K.'s GCHQ intelligence agency even recently proposed adding government agents as silent participants in group chats, something opponents have said could be even worse than weakened encryption, since it could be very quickly turned to mass surveillance or exploitation by hackers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    elnbrgelnbrg Posts: 1member
    This proves that end-to-end encryption is still a right way to protect our data.
    AppleExposedbaconstanglostkiwiLordeHawkviclauyycprismatics78BanditStrangeDaysleftoverbaconjony0
  • Reply 2 of 43
    Getting so sick of the political elite trying to wrestle away rights from people to gain power and using fear mongoring, outlier cases to scare us into believing that we should go along.

    Freedom is inherently dangerous, and only the ignorant sheeple of this country actually believe that we can legislate evil away.  

    “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” - Thomas Jefferson
    jbdragonbaconstangmwhitelostkiwiLordeHawkprismaticsbeowulfschmidtlongpathStrangeDaysleftoverbacon
  • Reply 3 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,072member
    elnbrg said:
    This proves that end-to-end encryption is still a right way to protect our data.
    Protect our data from who and why? Just because? The police have no right to gather evidence in a criminal case other than by traditional methods? Legal precedent has evolved over the past two centuries regarding what information we have the “right” to conceal from police. How about the new technique of matching DNA in genealogical databases to narrow down or discover possible suspects? Should that be banned? Our DNA is about as private as it gets. With a search warrant issued by a judge I see no problem with forcing the decryption of communications. When the telephone was invented legal wiretapping soon followed. The only difference is today that data is encrypted and law enforcement should have the tools to retrieve that data under the supervision of a judge. Damned Facebook knows more about you than the government does.
    edited March 5 christopher126
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Idiots all.

    There are lots of ways for criminals to have secure communication between themselves that the police will NEVER be able to intercept. This is just another bullshit ploy to get access to our data.
    EsquireCatsAppleExposedjbdragonSpamSandwichbaconstanglostkiwiLordeHawkprismaticslongpathStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 43
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 96unconfirmed, member
    Ug. Loud and clear: "My data, not yours."
    jbdragonlongpath
  • Reply 6 of 43
    Idiots all.

    There are lots of ways for criminals to have secure communication between themselves that the police will NEVER be able to intercept. This is just another bullshit ploy to get access to our data.
    Exactly, criminals just roll their own, and presumably they already do. On commercial platforms the end-to-end metadata already provides enough useful leads to law-enforcement.
    jbdragonunbeliever2baconstangStrangeDaysleftoverbacon
  • Reply 7 of 43
    Hmmmm.... I see and, to some degree, agree with Apple's view of privacy. But if a someone shoots up a school, do they still deserve to have their iPhone protected. A judge should be able to rule to see the data on someone's device if they are accused of crimes. On a one-off basis. Much like wire-tapping or search warrants are administered.

    Yes, there may be abuses, but shouldn't we be voting in intelligent people that appoint and oversee intelligent people, Judges, FBI Directors, etc? With proper oversight, of course.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    Idiots all.

    There are lots of ways for criminals to have secure communication between themselves that the police will NEVER be able to intercept. This is just another bullshit ploy to get access to our data.
    Exactly, criminals just roll their own, and presumably they already do. On commercial platforms the end-to-end metadata already provides enough useful leads to law-enforcement.

    Criminals don’t even need to come up with their own version of electronic communications. They can simply meet in person to discuss things. Not only can’t they be intercepted, but there’s no record of what they said. Just the memory of the individuals involved.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    lkrupp said:
    elnbrg said:
    This proves that end-to-end encryption is still a right way to protect our data.
    Protect our data from who and why? Just because? The police have no right to gather evidence in a criminal case other than by traditional methods? Legal precedent has evolved over the past two centuries regarding what information we have the “right” to conceal from police. How about the new technique of matching DNA in genealogical databases to narrow down or discover possible suspects? Should that be banned? Our DNA is about as private as it gets. With a search warrant issued by a judge I see no problem with forcing the decryption of communications. When the telephone was invented legal wiretapping soon followed. The only difference is today that data is encrypted and law enforcement should have the tools to retrieve that data under the supervision of a judge. Damned Facebook knows more about you than the government does.
    Agreed...Facebook has, on average, 29,000 data points on each user. (Source: Senate questioning of the that creep, Zuck.)

    AppleExposed
  • Reply 10 of 43
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 891unconfirmed, member
    That first line gives his plan away. Give the FBI all our data and it won't compromise ours. haha.

    Next those smart cameras and appliances will be cracked and it "won't" compromise our data. We'll have to commit a crime first! hahahaha. It's the Patriot Act all over again.


    lkrupp said:
    elnbrg said:
    This proves that end-to-end encryption is still a right way to protect our data.
    Protect our data from who and why? Just because? The police have no right to gather evidence in a criminal case other than by traditional methods? Legal precedent has evolved over the past two centuries regarding what information we have the “right” to conceal from police. How about the new technique of matching DNA in genealogical databases to narrow down or discover possible suspects? Should that be banned? Our DNA is about as private as it gets. With a search warrant issued by a judge I see no problem with forcing the decryption of communications. When the telephone was invented legal wiretapping soon followed. The only difference is today that data is encrypted and law enforcement should have the tools to retrieve that data under the supervision of a judge. Damned Facebook knows more about you than the government does.

    BWAHAHAHAA! Maybe it's time to switch to android?

    baconstangStrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 43
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 327member
    Hmmmm.... I see and, to some degree, agree with Apple's view of privacy. But if a someone shoots up a school, do they still deserve to have their iPhone protected. A judge should be able to rule to see the data on someone's device if they are accused of crimes. On a one-off basis. Much like wire-tapping or search warrants are administered.

    Yes, there may be abuses, but shouldn't we be voting in intelligent people that appoint and oversee intelligent people, Judges, FBI Directors, etc? With proper oversight, of course.
    Much like the former FBI and his men getting weaponized and get away w them....seriously??you want my data? Go ahead and eat it....
  • Reply 12 of 43
    lkrupp said:
    elnbrg said:
    This proves that end-to-end encryption is still a right way to protect our data.
    Protect our data from who and why? Just because? The police have no right to gather evidence in a criminal case other than by traditional methods? Legal precedent has evolved over the past two centuries regarding what information we have the “right” to conceal from police. How about the new technique of matching DNA in genealogical databases to narrow down or discover possible suspects? Should that be banned? Our DNA is about as private as it gets. With a search warrant issued by a judge I see no problem with forcing the decryption of communications. When the telephone was invented legal wiretapping soon followed. The only difference is today that data is encrypted and law enforcement should have the tools to retrieve that data under the supervision of a judge. Damned Facebook knows more about you than the government does.
    Protect it from the government and because it is MY data.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Hmmmm.... I see and, to some degree, agree with Apple's view of privacy. But if a someone shoots up a school, do they still deserve to have their iPhone protected. A judge should be able to rule to see the data on someone's device if they are accused of crimes. On a one-off basis. Much like wire-tapping or search warrants are administered.

    Yes, there may be abuses, but shouldn't we be voting in intelligent people that appoint and oversee intelligent people, Judges, FBI Directors, etc? With proper oversight, of course.
    Much like the former FBI and his men getting weaponized and get away w them....seriously??you want my data? Go ahead and eat it....
    Not following????
  • Reply 14 of 43
    The fact that the FBI was able to get into the shooter's iPhone through a third party pretty much destroys their argument that tech companies should be compelled to provide law enforcement with "back doors" to all consumer tech.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    Can't stop the signal. Serious criminals will use end-to-end encryption anyway because the technology and tools are freely available.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,966member
    This is why I do not worry about Huawei. My data is already in the hands of US government. 
    prismatics
  • Reply 17 of 43
    Hmmmm.... I see and, to some degree, agree with Apple's view of privacy. But if a someone shoots up a school, do they still deserve to have their iPhone protected. A judge should be able to rule to see the data on someone's device if they are accused of crimes. On a one-off basis. Much like wire-tapping or search warrants are administered.
    How many school shootings are there in countries that don't allow citizens a 'right to bear arms'...?

    prismaticsmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 43

    FBI director says there may be 'solutions' to end-to-end encryption debate.

    Um, end-to-end encryption is the solution.

    LordeHawkprismaticsStrangeDays
  • Reply 19 of 43
    carismacarisma Posts: 2member
    Brute force taking data from a phone or computer is like torture to make someone tell something he doesn't want to tell.
    If i write an encrypted message on a paper that they can't decrypt what would be the backdoor here, torture?
    The next step is a chip in our head so they can simply read the password.
    Nice!
  • Reply 20 of 43
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 350member
    lkrupp said:
    elnbrg said:
    This proves that end-to-end encryption is still a right way to protect our data.
    Protect our data from who and why? Just because? The police have no right to gather evidence in a criminal case other than by traditional methods? Legal precedent has evolved over the past two centuries regarding what information we have the “right” to conceal from police. How about the new technique of matching DNA in genealogical databases to narrow down or discover possible suspects? Should that be banned? Our DNA is about as private as it gets. With a search warrant issued by a judge I see no problem with forcing the decryption of communications. When the telephone was invented legal wiretapping soon followed. The only difference is today that data is encrypted and law enforcement should have the tools to retrieve that data under the supervision of a judge. Damned Facebook knows more about you than the government does.
    DNA is hard evidence like fingerprints. No one can hide or change the DNA.

    Thought is not. Communication is an extension of thought. What I tell/think about people is part of my conscious. It is a basic human right. If the government thinks they have the right to know everything about me or other citizens, I rather live in jungle with animal. This is not 1984 or The motherland.

    Criminal or terrioist do exists and is bad for everyone. But in order to catch a few but sacrifice everyone else seems idiot. It almost sounds like government should keeps all  people’s money so the thieves can steal from you. But very often, it is the government that is the one who steals.
    StrangeDays
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