The FBI and other law enforcement folk are tense about Apple’s gleeful proclamation that the company can’t decrypt our data. FBI Director James Comey told reporters that he is “very concerned” about tech companies like Apple and Google stepping up their privacy game and protecting customer data.
The director was responding to Apple’s iOS 8 marketing, which included:
Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.
iSpyGoogle answered Apple’s claim by announcing that Android “L,” the next major release of its mobile operating system, will similarly encrypt customer data by default.
“I am a huge believer in the rule of law,” Mr. Comey said, according to The Huffington Post. “But I am also a believer that no one in this country is above the law. What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”
From my perspective, U.S. law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and the politicians who rushed to feed our privacy to the security wolves in the wake of 9/11 have only themselves to blame for Silicon Valley taking matters in its own collective hands.
From police searching smartphones without a warrant (which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court) to the U.S. National Security Agency slurping up everything that it can because it can, people and governments alike are leery of U.S. tech firms. Nobody trusts law enforcement (on this issue), U.S. intelligence (on anything), and it’s U.S. tech companies that are and will continue to pay the financial price.