FBI Director James Comey slammed tech companies for their increasingly airtight encryption methods, suggesting that such tools are preventing the FBI from being able to conduct its lawful investigations. "The advent of default ubiquitous strong encryption is making more and more of the room in which the FBI investigates dark," Comey told a cybersecurity conference at Boston College, as reported by BuzzFeed News.
Comey explained that the FBI has received 2,800 devices since the beginning of 2016 that it has the lawful authority to search, but that it has not been able to open 1,200 of those devices. Comey suggested that the strong encryption breaks the "bargain" the American people have made but he "disputed claims that he is advocating for weaker encryption or so called encryption backdoors into our phones," BuzzFeed News writes.
Still, "there is no such thing as absolute privacy in America," Comey said. "That's the bargain. And we made that bargain over two centuries ago to achieve two goals. To achieve the very, very important goal of privacy and to achieve the important goal of security. Widespread default encryption changes that bargain. In my view it shatters the bargain."