DOJ's Rosenstein takes aim at Silicon Valley encryption

October 4, 2017

A high-ranking Department of Justice official is taking aim at Silicon Valley's methods for protecting privacy, saying there should be a public debate about whether companies should create digital lock boxes that cannot be opened by police and judges.

Speaking Wednesday at a cybersecurity conference in Boston, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein described such warrant-proof encryption as a serious problem.

Rosenstein said encryption is a valuable tool for data security and the digital economy, but noted society hasn't before had a system where criminal evidence can be totally impervious to detection.

After 2015's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Apple resisted a judge's order to help the Justice Department hack into the gunman's iPhone. The FBI later paid to break into the phone.

Explore further: Apple encryption fracas about 'victims and justice': FBI chief

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