James Comey was released at the FBI. As you probably know, he has been a strong advocate of weakening encryption, so that law enforcement agencies could nab the bad guys through easily accessible backdoors. He never seemed to grasp the concept that what was good for the mouth (law enforcement) would also be good for the gander (bad actors).
Perhaps this notion was lost on him because he was blinded by his own mission. Instead, Comey expressed his exasperation with the lack of patriotism in Silicon Valley and compared his decision not to cooperate with him as a business decision – not a principle to protect his clients.
An article in the motherboard recounts its efforts and its oratory to ensure that the technology companies are aware. We recall the most advertising dustup with Apple on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone in early 2016. In addition, Donald Trump jumped on Comey’s headband at the moment, joining him by asking Apple to provide access On the phone.
Comey felt that smart enough businesses to develop strong encryption for their phones could also find a way for this unlocking to be secured to protect customers. It’s plausible, is not it? However, as this scenario, although simple, was actually much more complicated, Apple declined. He cited the very real danger that such a move would pose to iPhone customers. It could potentially allow hackers or other non-US agencies to access people’s phones through nicks that are easier to bypass by encryption.
Eventually, the FBI cracked the encryption without the help of Apple, and the issue vanished from the public’s conscience. However, Comey’s love for access to encryption and the propensity to target manufacturers with his anger, began a few years earlier – shortly after he was appointed director of the FBI by President Obama.
In the fall of 2014, shortly after, Apple and Google announced that their mobile operating systems would be encrypted by default, Comey launched its verbal assaults seriously. At the time, he cost the phrase “go dark”, which quickly became not only a buzz phrase, but a rationale and rallying cry for law enforcement. He painted an image of pedophiles and other predators being allowed to carry away with impunity children and other vulnerable innocent. He said:
“If the challenges of real-time interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to take us to a very dark place.”
The comey of encryption has continued the offensive throughout next year, reorienting its rhetoric from pedophiles to terrorists. He blamed the encryption to help and encourage ISIS:
“They do not need to find propaganda, they buzz in their pockets, there is a device, a devil on their shoulders throughout the day saying kill, kill, kill, kill. Instructions (on Twitter send them) to the end-to-end encrypted application and they give them instructions. “
Comey then made a comment that might foreshadow the future of encryption and backdoors under a Trump administration, although he could not predict or predict (or other surveys or experts) a Trump presidency. At the time, he commented that “Congress could force” companies like Apple and Google to compromise their encryption.
The new president being cool for Silicon Valley (to support his opponent in the elections), and with the Republicans holding a majority in Congress, Comey’s remarks take shape and have a change. With the exception of one thing – the encryption antagonist, Comey, will not be there to carry out the attack. So, what is probably available to us?
Well, the person in charge of replacing Comey could be FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. He was more cautious in the encryption debate, pragmatically emphasizing that many encrypted messaging services operate abroad – outside of the FBI’s jurisdiction. This could throw a key into any mechanism that would seek to destroy the encryption. After all, many customers and billions of dollars of revenue from device manufacturing companies emanate from abroad, again, outside the scope of the FBI.
I guess we should be grateful that the likely next FBI director will have his hands full with other things to focus on, in addition to the issue of encryption. What, along with Hillary Clinton’s email fiasco still at stake, and research on interference