FBI wants Congress to mandate backdoors in tech devices to facilitate surveillance
In response to announcements by Apple and Google that they would make the data customers store on their smartphones and computers more secure and safer from hacking by law enforcement, spies, and identity thieves, FBI director James Comey is asking Congress to order tech companies to build their devices with “backdoors,” making them more accessible to law enforcement agencies. Speaking at the Brookings Institution last Thursday, Comey said that police need new legislation to help them apprehend criminals who use encryption to hide incriminating evidence. “The FBI has a sworn duty to keep every American safe from crime and terrorism, and technology has become the tool of choice for some very dangerous people,” Comey said. “Unfortunately, the law hasn’t kept pace with technology, and this disconnect has created a significant public-safety problem.”
The 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) forces telephone companies to build surveillance technologies into their networks to allow law enforcement to install wiretaps. The law has not been updated and it does not apply to new technology including online forms of communication.
Privacy advocates predict that few in Congress will support Comey’s quest for greater surveillance powers. “I’d be surprised if more than a handful of members would support the idea of backdooring Americans’ personal property,” Senator Ron Wyden (D- Oregon) said.
In June, the House voted 293-123 to slash funds for National Security Agency projects that build vulnerabilities into security products, a sign that Congress is far from passing new legislation that makes U.S. tech products more vulnerable to hacking.
Take away Message:
* Backdoors in security will allow everyone to access your data, including journalists (Murdoch case) and divorce lawyers.
* Backdoors will destroy the US tech giants – and they know this.
* Google’s lobbying fund at Congress has just surpassed that of Goldman Sacks – which indicates a “fight to the death” by the Tech Giants.
* If the FBI win this debate – boycott all US products from Google, Apple, Microsoft, as you’re being wiretapped.