FBI head criticizes Apple, Google over data encryption

Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey hit out at Apple and Google on Thursday over new data-security measures designed to reassure customers wary of government prying.

Google and Apple this month announced they are hardening encryption tactics on devices powered by their .

The move should mean that even if law enforcement agencies have court-issued , they will be blocked from getting hold of pictures, messages and other stored on newer Android or Apple smartphones and tablets.

"I am a huge believer in the rule of law," Comey told journalists.

"But I also believe that no one in this country is beyond the law. What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law."

Comey said the FBI had had initial discussions with Apple and Google about the new security measures. He said law enforcement, with a search warrant, must have access to data on criminals' smartphones.

In a reference to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, the FBI head said that in a "post-Snowden world... this is an indication (some corporations) go too far."

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FBI chief: Apple, Google phone encryption perilous (Update)

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Sep 26, 2014
Commerce Clause probably forbids this, as phone calls may be considered "interstate Commerce" since they go into outer space and back.

Sep 26, 2014
An my response to Comey is 'wa.wa.wa....." If you people hadn't tried to spy on everyone and got caught at it you wouldn't be having the problem now. Tough cookies....

Sep 27, 2014
Beyond the law? Is he joking?

The entire concept of constitutional privacy is that citizens' private lives are beyond the reach of the authorities unless there is probable cause to believe a crime may have been committed. Government is *not* entitled to probe our personal spaces and private conversations whenever it pleases.

Citizens have always been 'beyond the law' when there is no indication of criminal activity. Always. It's a right, not a privilege, and one worth defending.

Sep 27, 2014
This is the type of powerless rhetoric one hears from government officials who know they will soon lose all power and authority. International corporations like Google will be fine, which is his true lamentation

Sep 27, 2014
I think Comey feels much better about Big Brother now that he is really in the family.

Sep 28, 2014
Amendment IV
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
My private communications are my business. Get a warrant.

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