James Comey Again Demands Tech Companies Do As He Says And Grant The FBI Complete Access To Whatever It Wants
from the please-please-please-let-me-get-what-I-want dept
FBI director James Comey — (again) citing no legal authority or precedent — is demanding Google and Apple hand over the keys to their default phone encryption.
The director of the FBI on Monday doubled down on demands that Silicon Valley giants cooperate in the course of criminal investigations, saying that tech companies such as Apple and Google have to unlock cellphones, if authorities request it.
And what has all this “demanding” and “doubling down” netted Comey? Nothing really. He still needs a compliant legislative body to oblige his fantasies of subservient tech companies opening wide for fat-fingered g-men.
Comey’s latest attempt to sell the government’s plan to exchange fear for all-access mobile phone passes came at a counterterrorism conference hosted by Fordham University. And, once again, Comey followed up his baseless demands with a whole lot of nothing.
Comey didn’t specify what he wants Apple and Google to do but said that to find a solution requires an “honest debate.”
“I don’t want to tell people what to do,” he said. “But I want to try to foster a national conversation about this.”
“There has to be some solution that will allow us with lawful authority to be able to have the company unlock the device,” he added.
There’s nothing honest about Comey’s approach and walking around claiming that phone encryption will lead to new highs in terrorist attacks and pedophilia is only part of the dishonesty. Comey claims he doesn’t want to “tell people what to do,” apparently completely unaware that throwing around the weight of his agency and position and demanding phone makers play by his rules is the very definition of “telling people what to do.”
Unfortunately for Comey, throwing around this weight just isn’t enough anymore. No one in the tech world is going to be cowed into obeisance. Not anymore. Now, everyone wants to stick it to The Man, even many of those that worked in close proximity with government agencies over the past several years. Why? Because the nation’s intelligence and investigative agencies are always hungry. They always want more.
The “solution” Comey’s looking for runs through Congress. Historically, legislators have almost always come down on the side of law enforcement. The twin specters of terrorism and child molestation have resulted in plenty of government expansion and law enforcement leeway over the years. But maybe even the legislators are beginning to realize that this is something that can never be satiated. You can give and give and give and the same people will return over and over again, asking for just a little more. The government is — and has been for years — a mixture of junkies and their enablers.
Maybe we’re at the point that a certain number of enablers have become sick of the constant need. Maybe they’ll cut Comey and his ilk off and put up with the keening, inarticulate sounds of their withdrawal. Or maybe they’ll meet them out back and slip them a fix when they think no one’s looking. As I’ve said before, the voices out front are claiming the FBI will find no assistance here. It’s the large number of those who’ve offered no opinion we need to keep an eye on. Law enforcement’s emotional blackmail has worked for years. It may have recently lost its edge, but it’s still too powerful to count out completely.
“In one way or another, our entire lives — our social lives, our work lives — reside online and on these devices,” Comey said. “And that’s a great thing. But that’s also where the bad guys are.”
Yeah. As in “real life” itself. I guess we should expect him to ask for “golden key” access to every front door in America. As long as he’s transparent about it, what’s there to be concerned about? Comey just wants to keep America safe. Who are we to deny complete access to our “entire lives?”