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?"


Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 7:37am

    But that's also where the bad guys are.

    The bad guys are everywhere most people are. The friendly neighbor can be a bank robber (true story from a close friend, we were shocked). Shall we give our door keys to the FBI just in case? I challenge him and any other of those morons to propose this. And eat each gram of crap from the ensuing shitstorm. Because if it works online it must work offline, no?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:27am

    yep

    "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."

    he is right. and they work at the FBI.

    my resentment for *law enforcement* is reaching soviet union enforcer levels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:30am

    What he's achieved

    And what has all this "demanding" and "doubling down" netted Comey? Nothing really.


    I disagree. I think Comey has achieved something truly remarkable: he has succeeded in making himself look like a complete loon rather than simply the authoritarian thug that we have come to expect from FBI directors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:31am

    And the tech giants need to respond, "We will cooperate when you get warrants."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      That is not desirable, as it still means that the encryption is deliberately weakened, or some spyware is used to capture the key.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Geno0wl (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      But that is the point of the new encryption standards. That even WHEN they get the warrants that they pretend are such a huge hassle(which they are not)...even then Apple and Google can't/won't help them.
      They are pushing new encryption standards so that literally ONLY the owner of the phone can decrypt said phone.
      And as people who have been used to being crushed under mountain of data...that scares them...and to that I say..."Good"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:31am

        Re: Re:

        This is pedantic, but neither Apple nor Google are pushing for new encryption standards. They're just applying existing ones. In Apple's case, they aren't even adding any new facility at all -- they're applying a crypto subsystem that has been in use on iPhones for years to a new part of the storage system.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Vladilyich, 7 Nov 2014 @ 10:51am

      Re: FBI Demands companies do as he says

      "We will cooperate when you get warrants."

      Real warrants, from a real court, signed by a real judge. Not some super secret FISA court and their rubber stamp from a clerk. Being secret, FISA isn't a real court, anyway.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:44am

    All I can think of is White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane when I look at the current state our country is in , The lengths that these guys will go are almost surreal, One has to wonder at what moment our country was occupied by this unknown invading force,That gives no worth to what many have fought and died for and what our founding fathers were building , In 15 years we have lost/ given away all control.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:12am

      Re:

      to think the tipping point was 9/11 much like the Reichstag fire made Germans fearful enough to throw away logic and give in to Hitler's demands that his new anti terrorism laws would make them safe if they gave up their rights.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        9/11 has allowed the government to wage wars without calling them wars, expand taxes without calling them taxes, create new agencies whose sole purpose is to watch their "electorate". If there were never a 9/11, I'm sure they would create one for all of the side benefits they get.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rich Kulawiec, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re:

        Ah, but this is an old, OLD playbook:

        "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."

        --- Julius Caesar

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nom du Clavier (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:53am

    This calls for a new bill

    Something like "G-Men's Open Access To Strong Encryption", opening up your, erm, phone wide.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:56am

    "I don't want to tell people what to do," he said. "But I want to try to foster a national conversation about this."

    We had a national conversation about it. It went like this:

    American People: Hey FBI, NSA, HomeSec...why are you gathering up every telephone conversation made in the US?
    American Government: I cannot say if we are, but if it were the case, the reasons would be classified.
    AP: Ok, well, we have some documents that say you are doing it.
    AG: Well, again, I cannot confirm or deny anything because that would make you less safe.
    AP: Ok, well then we are going to demand our tech providers make our information more secure.
    AG: For your own safety, we are going to need the keys.
    AP: Umm...go f*** yourselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      AG: But, but, but terrists, and kiddie fiddlers, and tax cheats, and terrists, and front doors. Or is it back doors? I can never keep those two straight.

      "Honey, could you open the door? I locked myself out again."

      Comey is one incredible piece of work. He makes Sarah Palin look like a Rhodes scholar.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 8:59am

    "...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..."

    This doesn't sound like a discussion to me. This sounds like you have a solution and are going to piss and moan until the nation accepts it. This sounds more like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum than a "national conversation"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      There is a solution that gives the FBI "lawful authority to be able to have the company unlock the device". It's called a warrant.

      If we're going to have a national conversation, it needs to be about why the FBI doesn't want to use warrants. We could talk about why the FBI wants to read people's mail without probable cause. We could talk about why the FBI doesn't want warrant-less spying included in courtroom evidence, and would prefer to lie about their sources. We could even talk about how warrants are a matter of public record, and provide needed transparency into what the FBI is doing.

      But Comey doesn't want to have that conversation, and that's why he's pissing and moaning. An actual discussion is the last thing he wants.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 11:09am

        Re: Re:

        There is a solution that gives the FBI "lawful authority to be able to have the company unlock the device". It's called a warrant.

        With encrypted storage on the phone, the warrant will only work if their is a backdoor in the encryption system, or the company has by some means acquired or manages the users key. If the encryption is done properly, with the key under user control only, the phone company will not be able access the phones contents.
        Done properly, it means that the phone cannot be decrypted without the owners knowledge, including any cloning by TSA, or police when they stop and search someone.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 12:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "With encrypted storage on the phone, the warrant will only work if their is a backdoor in the encryption system, or the company has by some means acquired or manages the users key."

          Not true.

          The warrant is issued to the owner of the device (the user who has the key). If they don't comply, they go to jail for contempt until they do.

          I'm not seeing the problem.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 12:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 12:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The comment I was replying to specifically said the company, not the owner, and it appears that Comey wants the companies to provide access to the contents.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 1:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Fair enough, my apologies.

              I was taking the conversation in the larger context of what Comey has been saying. The argument Comey has been making is that if the companies can't do this, that means that law enforcement can't possibly get access to the phone whether or not they have a warrant.

              That's the straight-up lie.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 1:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                As far as I can see, law enforcement want the ability to look at all the data on a phone, or an image of its contents, any time they can get their hands on one, like any arrest for any reason. This can only be done if they do not need a warrant and also need the company to be able to decrypt the data, because many times they would not be able to get a warrant.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:05am

    Of course, it could all be a deception. They could already have the keys. Phase 1 would be for them to obtain the "golden keys" and once they have them, they would begin phase 2 Phase 2 would focus on deceiving people; remember the 4D's these 3 letter intelligence agencies like to use. The deception is one of security. They shout and throw a tantrum and insist they need access, while letting the target company sit back and put out the message that their security conscious target market wants to hear. RSA did it, they weakened their encryption after being paid $10,000,000 by the NSA, in order to aid the NSA in their surveillance efforts. So unless you can give one of these companies a larger contract than the NSA, it's best to error on the side of caution.

    Sure it's a conspiracy theory, but is it any more nuts than the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, or the CIA funding an illegal war in central America with money earned from the trafficking of drugs from south America to the US. During this same time, the US Government was bombarding the media with their anti-drug "just say no" campaign. (the results put Manuel Noreiga in prison, and gave his partner Col Olivier North, who met with him, a radio show), or as previously mentioned, the RSA giving them easier access.

    Knowing those things happened in the past, and knowing what the FBI likes to do when it acts as an intelligence agency (Cointelpro), how likely is it that they don't already have the "golden keys" and so now they just want to make sure everyone uses the services they have access too?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:05am

      Re: Conspiracy theory on encryption

      ... Sure it's a conspiracy theory, ...
      Suppose you are right. If so, then the people who migrate from using a pre-default-encryption smartphone to using one of these fake-security smartphones are no worse off against the government, and are better off against common thieves who lack the government's secret intercept capabilities. The government can trivially search the pre-encryption phone because anybody can break into it. The government can trivially search the fake-security smartphone using the secret technique you propose. Common thieves could search the pre-encryption phone, but cannot search the fake-security smartphone. If the ability to compromise the fake-security phones ever becomes available to common thieves, it will likely become generally known soon after and everyone will recognize the phones have only fake-security. The deception you describe can only harm people who switch from a secure product (and there aren't any good mainstream secure smartphones as far as I know) to the fake-security smartphones posited here.

      It's possible that there are people who currently avoid putting anything private on a smartphone who might start to do so if they were taken in by the conspiracy you posit, but my guess is that most of the people who avoid it now are suspicious enough that they won't start just because a closed system claims to be more secure than it once was.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:11am

      Re:

      I agree it could be a possibility that they already have access. Which is why I sent an encrypted picture to a Canadian email address back at the beginning of all the leaks.
      The encrypted email contained a cat's butt with the words "kiss it". I bet the recipient was wondering why they got an email they couldn't decrypt but I hope the people in Government could see it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:07am

    "I don't want to tell people what to do," he said. "But I want to try to foster a national conversation about this."
    James Comey is having his national conversation. He just doesn't like what he's hearing: ordinary people and corporations telling him NO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DigDug, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:07am

    James Comey - You First.

    Starting today, wear multiple cameras, live streaming 24x7x365, stored forever on the internet for every American to access on a whim.

    No more private moments at home, no secret meetings, nothing.

    If you see it, we see it. If you hear it, we hear it.

    That is what you are asking for.

    That is invasion of privacy.

    That is why WE choose to encrypt devices that hold information about our PRIVATE lives.

    You have proven that you are incapable of following the law.

    You are a TRAITOR to our country.
    You have committed acts of TREASON by violating the constitution.
    You should have been arrested a long time ago to stand trial for treason.
    We'll work on getting the PotUS, the heads of the CIA/NSA/and other alphabet organizations to join you in your cell as soon as possible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 11:29am

      Re: James Comey - You First.

      Well said there. Amazing how such a straightforward concept of reciprocity and responsibility with the government will never be honoured by these officials (elected or not elected)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:07am

    an extortion racket

    "if you don't give us what we want bad things are going to happen to you"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:11am

    > "golden key" access to every front door in America.

    That's a pretty poor analogy since battering rams exist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Digger, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:19am

      Re:

      Here's what the FBI will be promoting next.

      We will attach wireless fax machine scanners to the head units of your paper shredders so that we get copies of all the document's you shred.

      Because. you could be shredding child-porn pictures..

      But we'll keep everything you shred just in case.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:58am

      Re: Battering rams are obvious


      > "golden key" access to every front door in America.

      That's a pretty poor analogy since battering rams exist.
      Ever try using a battering ram to sneak&peek a place you know the occupants will later return to? Breaking down the door is noisy and usually causes enough incidental damage that it's pretty obvious someone's been trespassing. By contrast, a golden key or golden lockpick would let the trespassers slip in, search the place, and slip out, leaving no sign they had ever been.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: Battering rams are obvious

        ...a golden key or golden lockpick would let the trespassers slip in, search the place, and slip out, leaving no sign they had ever been...

        A skilled lockpicker (I mean locksmith) doesn't need a key; it just makes their job easier. And don't kid yourself: the government has a few of them on the payroll.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 7 Nov 2014 @ 8:06am

          Re: Re: Re: Battering rams are obvious

          True, but what the cops want is the ability to unlock the door without requiring the time and skill of a professional lock-picker.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Vladilyich, 7 Nov 2014 @ 11:08am

      Re: Battering Rams

      That's why my front and back doors are solid steel, commercially hung (open outward)with a two inch jamb to prevent it from being battered down inwards. It would take almost an RPG for SWAT to open either one of them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2014 @ 5:34am

        Re: Re: Battering Rams

        I hope you never have to be rescued by a fire brigade because of a fire, or manage to raise the alarm for a serious medical emergency, but are unable to open a door. Also if the doors are not sheltered, deep snow could make getting out very difficult.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 8 Nov 2014 @ 6:53pm

        Re: Re: Battering Rams

        Do you have any windows in your house? Because if they can't go through the doors, they'll probably just go through the windows instead, and probably take it out on you for the 'inconvenience'.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    me, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:30am

    simple answer

    no.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:35am

    Get a warrant or get fucked. Ina prosecution you can require a person to decrypt their information, if you actually need it otherwise the person will be held in contempt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:15pm

      Re:

      unless of course the government does the whole secret evidence the defense and judge are not allowed to see but it completely incriminates you because the prosecution says it does. or why even bother with secret evidence and just go for a secret trial or just use the provisions currently in place to suspend your right to trial and put you in jail.

      Because terrorism means you have no rights if those in charge decide they do not want you to have any rights

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 9:43am

    Calling NSA's Bluff(dale)

    NSA's Bluffdale facility is quickly becoming the world's largest repository of random bits.

    They wanted more hay in their haystack, so here it is.

    To add insult to injury, these random bits don't compress at all, so Bluffdale will run out of space even faster.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:32am

    Great then we should also have a way to get into the FBI's systems when we need to and image all of their data. Throw the NSA in there as well. We will need a citizen data center beside the NSA bluffdale DC where we get a copy of all the information the bluffdale facility receives.

    Sounds pretty crazy doesn't it. That's because it is crazy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 11:17am

    'So This Is How Liberty Dies...'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:16pm

      Re:

      died decades ago, when apathy first set in and Americans stopped caring about the crimes their government were committing because it did not affect them personally

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 11:54am

    People should be able to lock or encrypt

    we lock or encrypt our phones to keep bad people out, to bad they now wear badges

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 12:00pm

    This was brilliantly written Tim, thanks.

    As in "real life" itself. I guess we should expect him to ask for "golden key" access to every front door in America.

    He isn't asking for that because he doesn't need it. There aren't many doors in America that can stand up to an MRAP, hell the majority can't stand up to a Swat boot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 12:09pm

    I for one was considering a promising career in terrorism and/or pedophilia, but not having strong encryption on mobile devices was really making me reconsider those fields and look into something that apparently requires less effort and intelligence, like law enforcement and/or fear-mongering. Now that Comey has notified me that Google and Apple are offering stronger encryption on mobile devices, I may have to reconsider my reconsideration...

    (This is complete sarcasm for you government spooks listening out there - I would never honestly consider a career in law enforcement...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 12:30pm

    Is this the same James Comey who got the nickname "james coming" from his habit of pulling down the blinds of his office for his "special alone time" (with rosie palm and her 5 daughters)?

    Has this guy FINALLY managed to exhaust the vast porn content of the internet and now has to start furiously fapping to peoples random iphone pics?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 1:13pm

    Time to gut the "3rd Party Doctrine"

    The whole "3rd party doctrine" thing is and end-run around the constitution & needs to be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    I should be able to trust my phone, my pacemaker, my coclear implants, my retinal implants, etc., not to violate my 1st, 3rd, 4th & 5th Amendment rights.

    Cory Doctorow has talked about this already, but it's now time to fix this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 2:17pm

      Re: Time to gut the "3rd Party Doctrine"

      This is the absurdity of government wordsmithing.

      I feel it's reasonable to have the expectation that, yes, my phone and internet service providers could potentially snoop in the stuff that I trust them with, but not have them disclose it to anyone without a very specific warrant directed at me and my information based on real criminal acts I'm legitimately suspected of committing.

      The government thinks no one has a reasonable expectation of privacy (except for the government) because they snoop through everyone's stuff without a warrant. Their arguments are self-supporting.

      "You can't expect privacy because I like to snoop through your stuff, therefore your expectations of privacy are unreasonable."

      To put it another way, I hand a letter to the postal service and expect them to deliver it to the intended recipient without opening it or reading it. Why is that expectation of privacy any less reasonable than typing a letter up in a webmail app and hitting send?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 7 Nov 2014 @ 8:14am

      Re: Time to gut the "3rd Party Doctrine"

      I agree.

      There is an underlying aspect to the third party doctrine that makes sense. If I give my data to someone else, then (in the absence of a legal agreement otherwise) that someone else can do anything they like with it including give it to the cops with or without a warrant.

      Where I think the whole notion has been perverted is with the concept of "reasonable expectation of privacy". That is a flawed standard from the start, and is a much larger problem than the specific incarnation in the third party doctrine.

      For example, in what sane world is there no reasonable expectation of privacy with third parties even when there is an explicit agreement that the third party will maintain your privacy?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AM, 6 Nov 2014 @ 2:09pm

    A little less sarcasm and hyperbole please

    I agree with the sentiment in this article, but the quality of writing is too snarky for Techdirt:

    "fat-fingered G-men"

    "The government is -- and has been for years -- a mixture of junkies and their enablers."

    "Maybe they'll cut Comey and his ilk off and put up with the keening, inarticulate sounds of their withdrawal."

    Doesn't matter that there is a strong element of truth in here. The writing is just plain nasty, and therefore hard to take seriously.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 3:13pm

      Re: A little less sarcasm and hyperbole please

      But it's true isn't it? They are acting like junkies who, upon realizing that their drug of choice(mass, indiscriminate surveillance) may not be available(at least in this sense), are scrambling around trying to force the 'dealers' to give in and continue to let them get their 'fix' without any effort(read: getting warrants) on their part.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 4:57pm

      Re: A little less sarcasm and hyperbole please

      You're welcome to your point of view; to each their own. I like the way he writes, and especially on this topic, Comey damned near begs for it. He makes the FBI look like wailing brats. "Gimme, gimme, gimme!"

      The velvet glove is well and truly off. The time for half measures is over.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 7 Nov 2014 @ 8:15am

      Re: A little less sarcasm and hyperbole please

      There is a reason that sarcasm and hyperbole exist. Sometimes those methods are the best way of relaying the truth.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    justme, 6 Nov 2014 @ 3:16pm

    Imagine we reach a point where organized bands of 'domestic terrorists' are running the street of America.

    How are the FBI/NSA/etc going to make the case that they are the one's fighting to "protect and defend" the constitution?

    Or is that not the very definition of defending the county?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 3:46pm

    A Simple Solution

    A very simple solution for all the companies involved, move to Canada, the FBI has no pull there. Once these companies are there in Canada what can the USA do?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 6 Nov 2014 @ 5:08pm

      Re: A Simple Solution

      Canada is one of the "eyes" in "Five Eyes", and Harper's gov't has acted in many ways like the US' lapdog. I've no doubt US' LEOs could get anything they want from Canada these days, and this has been true for years, possibly decades.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 10:17pm

      Re: A Simple Solution

      Harper is an American lapdog

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2014 @ 5:28pm

    I look at James Comey's statements and think to myself, wow, terrorism really has won the war against American values. It's managed to destroy the very foundation of our Constitutional Republic. That foundation is the Constitutional law itself.

    Anyone who attacks the very foundation and social fabric of our country, will be considered an enemy of the State in my book.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim Anderson, 7 Nov 2014 @ 12:30pm

    Apple Encryption

    My understanding of Apple's encryption was that it was built with no back door, no golden key and no key that Apple or anyone can use to spy on the message in question. So Comey can demand what does not exist and there is no way Apple can give what he wants because it does not exist. Comey is demanding Apple remove the current encryption and replace with a spy able version. Sad times in the former home of the former free and the land of the Atlanta Braves. I don't know about Google but I think they will move in Apples direction in an effort to try and preserve their business.
    .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2014 @ 6:26pm

    "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."

    Let's just kill humanity because of the "bad guys".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SoftChamp News, 4 Dec 2014 @ 1:31am

    Facebook encryption

    I hope Facebook will follow Apple's direction as well, because it's already fail its users and expose their data.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.