FBI Director Wray calls inability to access electronic devices an ‘urgent public safety issue’

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation is increasingly unable to access data from some electronic devices that could help in prosecuting criminals and terrorists, which is an ‘“urgent public safety issue,’ said Christopher Wray, director of the agency, speaking at a cybersecurity conference here Tuesday,” Sara Castellanos reports for The Wall Street Journal. “In fiscal year 2017, the FBI was unable to access the content of 7,775 devices tied to defendants and victims in criminal cases, Mr. Wray said in a speech at the International Conference on Cybersecurity. That number represents more than half of all the devices tied to criminal cases that the FBI attempted to access during that year, he said.”

“He implored technology companies to help law enforcement agencies prosecute criminals by ensuring that there are ways to access secure information on electronic devices with a court order,” Castellanos reports. ” Executives of technology companies including Apple Inc. have argued against what they call ‘backdoors’ for law enforcement, which the companies say create security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers and threaten the privacy of customers. ‘We’re not looking for a backdoor, which I understand to mean some kind of secret or insecure means of access,’ Mr. Wray said at the conference, hosted by the FBI and Fordham University. ‘What we’re looking for and asking for is the ability to access the device once we’ve had a warrant from an independent judge who has confirmed there is probable cause.'”

MacDailyNews Take: In other words, a backdoor.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For the umpteenth time: Encryption is either on or off. This is a binary issue. There is no in-between. You either have encryption or you do not.

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Leaked NSA malware hijacks Windows PCs worldwide; Macintosh unaffected – May 13, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘backdoors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013


    1. Wray was nominated by YOUR PRESIDENT assclown… he’s YOUR GUYS DIRECTOR… you can’t deflect this one… if you’re really that fucking deluded then we’ll all just have to ridicule you forever since you don’t seem to have any thinking skills, let alone critical thinking skills… you’re a moron.

    2. In addition, you’re beyond capable of having any type of cognitive function, based on your comments you’ve been drinking koolaid for far too long… you are a very unintelligent person, ney a moron… or an idiot? No, let’s stick with moron since that denotes a lack of cognitive thinking.

        1. That’s something a thirteen-year-old would say. But that’s OK. Lotsa thirteen-year-olds comment in this illustrious forum.. and gleefully, put people in their place. Which is not so easy in person, like on the playground, unless you are larger than the other kids. And me, I’m about like that, within a factor of four. I’m a girl but tall for my age and play sports so if a kid taunted me about being ugly or weird, or about my parents being liberals or whatever, I would bloody his f’n nose. I would get away with it because my intramural teams won games.

  1. John Roberts – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the US said it quite simply in a 9-0 decision.
    “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought, …Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.”

    The FBI wants to be able to hack your phone at will and will abuse it if they get it. They already fake cell towers and suck up masses of conversations with Stingrays.

    1. Your comment is certainly true, but completely irrelevant to this topic.

      The issue raised by Director Wray isn’t whether the FBI should have access without warrants (no reasonable person thinks they should), but whether they should have access WITH a warrant to encrypted devices. He and his advisers are obviously under the impression that there is some technologically possible way to simultaneously…

      (1) allow free and easy access to peace officers with a judicial warrant that complies with all the safeguards of the Fourth Amendment (even if the court is sitting in a foreign country), and

      (2) provide complete security for the owner against anyone except such a peace officer with a proper warrant.

      As MDN points out, that is simply impossible. However, what can we expect from a government that has been seeking to ban the terms “science-based” and “evidence-based” from its vocabulary? If you eliminate science and evidence, all that is left is unsupported opinions like Director Wray’s.

      1. It is not irrelevant.
        A back door could be exploited without a warrant as Stingrays currently are commonly used by Police from local to Federal. A backdoor also opens a security hole that can be discovered and exploited by nefarious actors.

        What the Donut Patrol wants is to be able to sit on their ass and look at a screen with cameras on you, your online activity monitored, your transition history bought from data miners, your location tracked by License plate scanners, your conversations hacked by Stingrays and to be able to hack into your phone at will.

        Otherwise, self incrimination without your consent or probable cause.

        It is completely relevant.

  2. Hey in light of the level and frequency of USG ILLEGAL CONDUCT OVER THE LAST DECADE——–f*ck you hellllllllllllll NO!!!!

    Obozo, Clinton, Rice, Holder, Lerner, Lynch, Comey, FISA, Brennan, Clapper and the rest of the weaponized “we need a back door”….NOPE, you lost the moral high ground…

      1. Wray was nominated by YOUR PRESIDENT assclown… he’s YOUR GUYS DIRECTOR… you can’t deflect this one… if you’re really that fucking deluded then we’ll all just have to ridicule you forever since you don’t seem to have any thinking skills, let alone critical thinking skills… you’re a moron.

        1. No we don’t, when they all get thrown out you’re going to have to admit your a beta cuck.. but since your dick is smaller than a 6th graders, you’re incapable of that… it must suck to be that insecure,and we understand, but all of us got over that in 7th grade, like normal people… if you’re really that confident in an organe faced, short dicked, and un thinking mornon then we all know what your relevance is. 33%? That’s about what you are, so next year you’re going to get destroyed… and just deal with it… the death throws are always stronger than the strongest thrusts… – William shakesepare…

          You’re a fucking idiot, a small dicked idiot who follows a lying small dicked piece of shit who falsifies his collegiate records… enjoy your inadequately

        2. “Shitposting” isn’t a thing on this site assclown. If you are actually a supporter of these idiots, then fine, but that means you haven’t been laid in YEARS… we all know you have either small penises or no concept of the real world… so you can enjoy your virtual virgin reality, that those of us in the actual world won’t pay attention to, so you can live in your small penised, insecure, and non confident world… you are beyond help and I suggest you go to bed with your little dr Seuss understanding of the world…

    1. It may surprise you to learn that “good police work” usually involves putting together probable cause to obtain a warrant. If that warrant cannot be executed because of encryption, there is rarely any other way to obtain the information sought.

      We live in a society that believes that it is better for the guilty to go free than for our liberties to be compromised. I agree with those priorities, but I can’t pretend that it comes without a very high price.

        1. Obviously! That’s why the Director is wrong. That does not mean that “good police work” is going to somehow make up for the loss of lawful Fourth Amendment warrants as a law enforcement tool.

        2. Because he has lost his thinking ability, and is insecure enough to take offense when someone posts something he can’t understand… this is a common trait of trump cult people, and we just have to put them on a small island where they can use their bootstraps while we ignore them… pay no attention to his idiocy.

  3. Assume Apple, Samsung, whoever, (and all US software companies) comply with the backdoor. SO WHAT? Anyone with a jailbroken iPhone or Android device can download software from servers in other countries that will provide secure encryption. It doesn’t remove the issue or solve the problem the FBI is whining about – it just makes it ever-so-trivially harder for Really Bad Guys to do their business. Any terrorist cell bent on malicious damage would have no issues circumventing such bans and backdoors.

    So the reality is that such measures would only help catch common dumb criminals . And I am not willing to cede any ground to a government that already illegally uses Stingrays and other techniques to collect mass information on law-abiding citizens to stop a couple of neighborhood dope dealers. And don’t even get me started with a tinfoil hat about presidential administrations past OR present.

  4. Then again the ability to access electronic devices would be an even bigger public safety issue.

    MDN is spot on, a backdoor. Not surprising that the FBI is worried, personal security finally possible on a device gives everyone a level playing field, something that Apple’s home nation seems to fear quite a bit.

  5. Wray just needs to coordinate with the NSA. They have had all information “backdoored” for at least 15 years. Some say the government has had it’s ear to the ground on everyone since 1958.

    And Thank Apple for not cooperating – or trying not to, but even all Apple systems were compromised a long time ago.

  6. This used to be my favorite Mac site with the best forums.

    But since the botvinnik crowd’s taken over, it’s just a hateful shit show with seldom any useful convos about actual Apple tech.

    1. The grumblestiltskins of the world have been left out in the rain, excluded from the social scene, for far too long. When they can find a rare tolerant website like MDN, a sanctuary for their homeless meanderings, it is not only a soothing psychological benefit for them, but also a boon for the government, who can easily identify and round them up, reducing their menace to the general populace.

  7. Already, there is too much identity/money theft from honest people, without creating “a key under the front door mat” which would make it much easier for criminals to get into our iPhones and steal our stuff.

  8. Spectre and Meltdown are examples that now every bad guy is franticaly working to make code so that they can use these fatal flaws for their advantage. These bad guys are NSA, KGB, Mossad, Russians and other web criminals.

    Apple provided fix for the WebKit that is used in the Android phones in their web browsers. The horrible thing is that the Android users will propably never get that code because nobody updates their phones anymore. So there is billions (2,5?) of Android users who will be left out in the cold.

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