Copyright © 2016
Tag - Law enforcement
Smartphone manufacturers must provide a way to easily unlock or decrypt their devices for law enforcement purposes, a bill going through the New York state assembly has demanded. Introduced last summer, the bill has been referred to a committee in the last week, with vendors facing a potential fine of $2,500 for every smartphone or mobile device produced this year or sold in New York that fails to comply, if the bill passes.
On the heels of Apple CEO Tim Cook's spirited defense of the general tech industry (and Apple-specific) trend of encrypting many types of user data on the television newsmagazine show "60 Minutes," a Republican senator again attempted to claim that encryption creates a haven for "child pornographers, drug traffickers, and terrorists alike." Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) accused the tech industry generally of resisting calls from authorities such as FBI Director James Comey for them to provide "backdoors" in their security that law enforcement can exploit.
The CEO of BlackBerry has attacked Apple for its policy over resisting requests from law enforcement to bypass protections on its devices. In a blog post, CEO John Chen simultaneously asserts that legitimate users need to have more protection, at the same time as claiming to "reject the notion that tech companies should refuse reasonable, lawful access requests" to data that can potentially put someone in prison.
FBI Director James Comey, a vocal advocate for forcing computer manfacturers to install "backdoors" in computers so that various law-enforcement and spy agencies can gain unfettered access to US and foreign citizens' data, announced on Friday that the Obama administration had opted not to force tech companies to decrypt encrypted communications and files in testimony before Congress. Comey added that talks with tech companies about how to help with law enforcement had, however, become "more productive."
As has been predicted for some time, the US government is clashing with technology companies over the encryption of personal data when it comes to law enforcement. The Justice Department is accusing Apple of disobeying a court order that it turn over text messages, in real time, between suspects in a guns-and-drugs case who are using iPhones. Apple has said the messages are encrypted without third-party keys, and thus it cannot comply with the order. Microsoft is also fighting the government, over whether emails stored outside the US should be given to US officials.
Another arrest has been made in the United Kingdom, over distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live online services, as well as instances of "swatting." An unidentified 18-year-old man was arrested in Southport this morning, with computers and other electronic devices seized by law enforcement officials for further investigation.
In the face of increasing security measures on consumer devices, the US Department of Justice appears to be returning to old school tactics to get at data in devices. A judge in New York ordered an unnamed smartphone manufacturer to provide technical assistance in unlocking a device, something prosecutors argued under the All Writs Act of 1789. While the All Writs Act has been used in the past in technological situations, it could be the de facto means of law enforcement data requests in the future.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey isn't giving up his crusade to persuade the government and businesses that law enforcement should have access to encrypted phone data. Comey took his fight to Congress recently, asking that it update the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to cover newer technologies.
Addressing reporters in Washington today, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey voiced his concerns over the recent shifts in security policy for Android and iOS 8. Specifically, Comey believes that the new security encryption measures that cannot be bypassed for law enforcement puts consumers before possible emergency situations.
In the shadow of Microsoft's dispute with the US Department of Justice, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Senate Judiciary Committee member Chris Coons (D-DE) have proposed legislation to codify law enforcement access to citizen's data stored internationally. The bill, titled the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act, seeks to authorize the use of extraterritorial search warrants, but vacate said warrants if it requires parties involved to break the laws of a country to do so.