Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Department of Justice Fears Automatic Encryption Makes Data Too Safe

Leslie Caldwell, an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said Tuesday that the department is “very concerned” by the Google’s and Apple’s decision to automatically encrypt all data on Android and iOS devices.

“We understand the value of encryption and the importance of security,” she said. “But we’re very concerned they not lead to the creation of what I would call a ‘zone of lawlessness,’ where there’s evidence that we could have lawful access through a court order that we’re prohibited from getting because of a company’s technological choices.

You can read the details at

Previously, FBI Director James Comey previously has said that the agency would push Congress to make automatic encryption illegal. (See

Comment: Anyone who is concerned about government spying probably will be more inclined to add encryption after reading Caldwell’s and Comey’s remarks. Blocking government access to your private information is a good thing, not a reason for the government to ban it. Banning of encryption and limiting rights of privacy are common practices of governments in North Korea, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and other repressive governments. Such actions seem contrary to the principles of freedom that Americans have traditionally enjoyed.

It is interesting to note that the U.S. government uses encryption to keep its own communications secret from American and foreign citizens alike. When the government of the United States finally does become a “transparent and open government” and stops encrypting its own communications, perhaps the citizens will then do the same.

Categories: Encryption

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.