Why Is The FBI Afraid Of Encryption?

By Derrick Broze

FBI Director Christopher Wray declared the bureau’s inability to access encrypted electronic devices a “major public safety issue.”

New York City – On Tuesday the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations discussed the danger posed by encryption of electronic devices. Speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York, FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke about challenges that encryption presents to law enforcement.

“We face an enormous and increasing amount of cases that rely heavily if not almost exclusively on electronic evidence,” Wray stated. “We also face a situation where we are increasingly unable to access that information, despite have lawful authority to do so.”

The FBI has been fighting to crack encryption on phones and laptops for several years. In fact, this is not the first time Wray has spoken against encryption. Once appointed by Donald Trump, Wray wasted no time promoting the idea that encryption was something that could actually harm – rather than help – the people. Wray and the FBI argue that terrorists will use encryption to plan terror attacks. Of course, this is a possibility, but there are also plenty of innocent, free human beings who want to protect their data and do so via encryption.

The FBI previously attempted to force Apple to unlock an iPhone as part of an investigation into the 2015 attacks in San Bernardino, California. Apple and other tech companies have so far fought the FBI’s efforts, stating that giving investigators access to a suspect’s cellphone will set a dangerous precedent for Internet security.

Director Wray also noted that the bureau was unable to access data from 7,775 devices in the 2017 fiscal year that ended September 30. “Being unable to access nearly 7,800 devices in a year is a major public safety issue,” Wray stated. “That’s more than half of the devices we attempted to access.”

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The director stated that a solution will require “significant innovation.” He also defended the FBI against allegations that the bureau is against encryption altogether.

Let me be clear, the FBI supports information security, we support strong encryption, but information security programs need to be thoughtfully designed so they don’t undermine the lawful tools we need to keep this country safe.

The question is, should the American people trust the FBI to keep them safe? This is the same agency that has been proven to entrap unstable individuals and claim they saved the day from big bad terrorists. This is also the same agency that has been involved in violent house raids in other nations, spying on activists, building a secret massive facial recognition database, secretly recording the public, and the list goes on. Are these really the people we should trust when they say the must break encryption and violate our privacy to keep us safe?

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2 and Manifesto of the Free Humans.

Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected]

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12 Comments on "Why Is The FBI Afraid Of Encryption?"

  1. This is such a crock. No serious person would rely on encryption for really important information. Russia has stopped using electronics and requires secret information to be typed on manual typewriters. If I wished to send instructions or even data, I would encode it and have the recipient know the various codes.
    Does “19” mean ‘Meet me at the laundromat’ or ‘Launch missiles immediately’?
    Unbreakable coding and encryption is simple if you really want to screw them around.
    More importantly, would you trust the FBI with anything, let alone your secrets?

    • Encryption works if you don’t have back-doors already integrated in your CPU’s and OS’s. For some reason the governments of the world including US do everything they can to prevent civilians from obtaining secure encryption software and hardware tech. But in itself encryption is effective, but it is chase the dragon technology, as AI tech. will soon adapt to crack it on the fly. Using a 16 digit random pass and 6000bit encryption or much less it’s currently going to take many years to crack. By the time they crack it you’ll die of old age. The problem lies in data destruction. If you have raster data or decompressed data, it’s possible to retrieve the the data if it’s not properly destroyed. Many governments have concluded that the only way to destroy magnetic media is via physical destruction, but there are effective overwriting methods that would render forensics unlikely to even retrieve the slightest amount of usable data, but it is possible. The challenge for highly encrypted communication is that it requires massive processing capability and bandwidth to transmit. You have to determine how sensitive the data is and determine practical application. If you want to transmit a message that was operationally sensitive a 256bit dual mode encyption with a 16 digit key would probably fit the bill, but at some point it can be cracked but by the time it’s cracked the mission is completed. So it’s false in thinking encryption can not be relied upon.

      • You are making a strawman argument of concepts that I never said.
        What part of ‘Unbreakable coding and encryption is simple if you really want to screw them around.’ did you not understand?
        I have absolutely no idea what “But in itself encryption is effective, but it is chase the dragon technology, as AI tech. will soon adapt to crack it on the fly.” means.
        My point was simply that no intelligent ‘spy’ or ‘terrorist’ would bother with electronic encryption. There are much better and less obvious means of messaging.

        • They all use digital encryption these days. I’m not sure what electronic encryption is, maybe you mean digital? I guess technically RF can be considered electronic but you need a semi conductor to control whichever binary is transmitted. I’m guessing this is why the government wants backdoors to everything especially encryption suites to combat terrorism. I personally believe blanket surveillance is unconstitutional and should be strictly prohibited via oversight law domestically. Yet back doors while deceptive to the customer are more in a gray area. It just seems as though power corrupts and vacuums need to be filled as seen with Snowden’s work for his handlers.

      • I use a modified Diffie Hellman algorithm with a 2048-bit key. I estimate it would take the NSA using ALL of their machine cycles, close to 18 years to crack it…and that would be only one message. The key modifies itself for successive messages. “Trust us, we’re from the government.” Riiight!

  2. Suuuure the FBI can be trusted, if you pay them enough, just ask Comey, he will wright you a get out of jail free card.

  3. George W Obama | January 11, 2018 at 10:27 am | Reply

    They can decrypt almost anything. But good encryption is time consuming to decrypt. The FIB and the NSA will not have time to decrypt EVERY bit of data and they might not get your grocery shopping list for this week.

  4. 7775 devices which do what??? There is a german saying, translated into english (hopefully good enough): What I do not know, does not make me hot…

  5. “Chiefs” of such agencies seek the feeling that they have “total control” over the citizenry they want to control, rather than providing a security service. This type of person is found in many leadership positions, many politicians and generally dishonest persons such as owners of the MSM, their stooges such as the alias, BHObama, the Clinton Trio, DNC leadership, and basically the “ghost persons” that manipulate the deep state.

  6. Free Man (NOT) | January 11, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Reply

    Want to have some fun with them?
    Just send out emails using random characters. Let them try to figure that out.
    The more time they spend on that, the less time they have to figure out the real stuff.

  7. The FBI is an unconstitutional criminal organization that covered up 911.

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