Sep 26, 2014

Is mobile device encryption really a national security issue that the FBI should be concerned about?

Both Google and Apple have announced that their devices will be automatically encrypted to protect their owners from having personal information compromised if their phone is lost or stolen. Sounds good to me, but the FBI has issued statements that this is dangerous for America and that the companies are “marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.” It seems to me that making encryption easy for everyone is something to protect people that put themselves beyond the law, including in some cases overzealous law enforcement personnel. But hey, I could be wrong. Is device encryption really going to pose a threat to national security?

Government bureaucrats always want more power over the people. And this situation is no exception. Bravo to Apple and Google for trying to protect the privacy of their users. The FBI was solving crimes long before they had access to people's mobile device data, they can go back to doing what they did before.

If I could create a code and write physical notes in that code, would that be a national security issue because the FBI couldn’t easily read it? They can gain access to the back-up data stored in the cloud with a search warrant, which is what they should have to use EVERY time they access a citizen’s data anyway. This is a bogus claim by the FBI. Should I leave my door unlocked at home because it would make it easier for the police to get in? It sounds to me like they are asking us to do the same thing with our mobile devices - leave them open for any criminal to exploit just in case the cops want to have a look around. If there is a case where the only evidence is on a cell phone, it is a pretty weak case anyway. 

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