Arrogance and Encryption

I wrote a bit ago about liberty and encryption. Here’s an example of the arrogance of the government’s attitude toward an American citizen encrypting his communications against government snooping.

Regarding Google and Apple plans to market encryption capabilities for their smart phones, FBI Director James Comey had this to say:

What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law[.]

This comes in the context of Brent Kendall’s paraphrase of Comey’s concern in Kendall’s WSJ article, also summarized in the link just above

FBI Director James Comey on Thursday said he is concerned about moves by Apple Inc and Google Inc to market phones that can’t be searched by law enforcement….

There are two things wrong with this, both of which a talented lawman at the peak of his career knows full well. First is the fact that encryption does not at all place anyone “beyond the law:” get a warrant. Also, the government, as has been well publicized, has an IT capacity fully capable of breaking encryption should the cell phone’s owner decide jail is preferable to honoring the warrant. Finally, the cell phone service providers aren’t the ones engaged in the communications of government interest; the cell phone owners are. The only legitimate targets of warrants for communications are the communicators, not the service providers.

The second thing wrong is the appalling arrogance inherent in Comey’s quoted statement. Leaving aside the foolishness of his claim of unsearchability, he’s cynically conflating “the law” with “law enforcement,” the police. Of course, this is…inaccurate. “The law” is what we citizens, through our elected representatives, say it is; the police are not the law but folks we hire to enforce it.

Here is the modern Liberal government in action.

2 thoughts on “Arrogance and Encryption

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