from the 'I'm-not-an-expert-but-I'm-unshakable-in-my-belief-that-I'm-righ dept
Ahead of a keynote address at Kenyon College, FBI director James Comey made himself available for an interview with Eric Geller of the Daily Dot, in which he assured readers that he is still making use of some very dusty talking points.
For the dozenth time, Comey once again asserted his belief that unicorns are not only real, but that smart people at tech companies can provide him with one.
“I think it’s a bit of a false premise to say that the only answer to the challenge we face is to introduce vulnerabilities into code,” Comey told the Daily Dot, before adding, “I’ll leave that to experts.”This is Comey's backdoor: a backdoor for all intents and purposes, except that he refuses to call it a backdoor. It's a secret entrance, only known to law enforcement, intelligence agencies and any other government entity that might like access to encrypted devices. It's a bell that can't be unrung, but Comey thinks the FBI can ring it quietly enough, provided the smart tech people come up with a foolproof way to suppress the ringing noise.
Experts -- hundreds of them -- have already offered their opinion. What Comey wants is impossible without introducing abusable vulnerabilities. And while the FBI was seeking access to the infamous San Bernardino iPhone, dozens of experts offered their help, but the FBI wasn't interested. And yet, Comey soldiers on, secure in his delusion that the "experts" will fix his problem, on his terms, even after he and his agency have done all they can to alienate them. No one has made more out of their own ignorance than Comey, who seems to be willfully avoiding any actual discussions with experts -- experts who will very definitely disabuse him of his stupid, dangerous notions.
But that's not the dumbest statement made by Comey in this interview. He tops himself later while addressing the possible repercussions of forcing tech companies to glue horns on horses to sastify his unicorn requests.
Asked about the danger of pushing people to foreign platforms by limiting U.S. encryption, Comey seemed to suggest that the answer was to regulate encryption worldwide. “Every country that cares about the rule of law cares about this,” he said. “I think whatever we come up with—we as a people that care about these issues, in and out of government—it has to have some international component to it.”Let me get this straight: the guy who couldn't even persuade Congress that it was a good idea to force one company to help unlock one phone believes he can talk the rest of the world into getting on board with his anti-encryption plans. If insanity is
The audacity of that shrug ("no prob, we'll just get the rest of the world to bend to my will") is breathtaking. The best thing the FBI could do to protect its iPhone-cracking interests is chain Comey to a desk in a basement and go back to delivering a steady stream of "no comments" through DOJ lawyers.