FBI Wants to Weaken Your Cell Phone’s Security

FBI Director James B. Comey has stated that companies like Apple and Google have “gone too far” in offering fully encrypted cellphones that neither the FBI nor the companies selling the devices can crack. He suggests American companies should refrain from providing any products secured by encryption unless they also weaken their security so the FBI and other government agencies are able to decrypt their customers’ data at the government’s request. However, if the FBI is allowed to enter an individual’s cellphone through less encryption, a foreign entity or hacker looking to crack into the device will also have an easier time, civil liberties advocates warn.

Advocates of encryption technology are asking President Obama to reject any proposal from the FBI or other administration officials that deliberately aims to weaken the security of cellphones and other technology products.

“Whether you call them ‘front doors’ or ‘back doors,’ introducing intentional vulnerabilities into secure products for the government’s use will make those products less secure against other attackers,” more than 60 privacy advocates and computer experts said in a May 19 letter addressed to President Obama. “Every computer security expert that has spoken publicly on this issue agrees on this point, including the government’s own experts.”

The letter went on to read: “We urge you to reject any proposal [in which] U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products. We request that the White House instead focus on developing policies that will promote rather than undermine the wide adoption of strong encryption technology. Such policies will in turn help to promote and protect cybersecurity, economic growth, and human rights, both here and abroad.”

You can read more in the DailyDot.com at http://www.dailydot.com/politics/tech-groups-letter-obama-encryption-backdoors.

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