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Congress Warns FBI to Leave Peoples' Cell Phones Alone

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Oct 22, 2014, 7:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Members of Congress have responded to comments made by FBI Director James Comey regarding security measurers Apple and Google have added to their respective mobile operating systems. Both iOS 8 and Android 5.0 use encryption by default to protect user data from spying. The FBI doesn't like this. Comey last week asked Congress to pass legislation that would force smartphone makers to provide a back door into smartphones for law enforcement purposes. Congress has spoken up. "I think the public would not support it, certainly industry would not support it, civil liberties groups would not support it," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren in a statement provided to The Hill. "I think [Comey is] a sincere guy, but there's just no way this is going to happen." Senator Ron Wyden offered similar thoughts. "I'd be surprised if more than a handful of members would support the idea of backdooring Americans' personal property." Representative Darrell Issa added, "To FBI Director Comey and the [administration] on criticisms of legitimate businesses using encryption: you reap what you sow." Congress believes the American public is inherently distrustful of law enforcement's data collection techniques after the revelations made by Edward Snowden. FBI Director Comey wants Congress to update 1994 legislation called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which required phone companies to make it easy for law enforcement to tap calls. The Electronic Frontier Foundation points out, however, that CALEA already protects encryption measures put into place by companies. The law states companies "shall not be responsible for decrypting, or ensuring the government's ability to decrypt, any communication encrypted by a subscriber or customer." The Hill suggests the FBI isn't going to simply drop the matter and will continue its push for broader access to smartphones.



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Oct 22, 2014, 7:52 AM

Mixed Feelings

I understand that law enforcement need the ability to monitor phone calls of suspicious people, but who decides who is "suspicious"? I'm fearful that we are moving closer and closer to a state-controlled regime that watches everything we do and uses that info against us at will.
I'm totally with you. But there's going to come a day when the tech companies refuse to play ball. If google, apple, samsung, LG, Motorola, Microsoft, etc, suddenly decide to stop playing ball with the Feds, it's all over.

The feds can only do wha...
gloopey1 said:
I'm fearful that we are moving closer and closer to a state-controlled regime that watches everything we do and uses that info against us at will.

If the government used information as legitmate tools to fight terrorism, I might see their point. But the truth be it Bush or Obama, such information is not being used for legitmate uses but for unlawful survalance.

Money and equipment that was ...

Oct 27, 2014, 5:28 PM

I don't see what the big deal is.

I have nothing to hide. I don't care if they FBI goes through my phone. They just might get jealous from my pics though. 😉

And plus its not like they just go through everybody's phone. Only people who are suspected of doing something bad. And the FBI has to get a warrant from an impartial judge.
Move to communist China if you feel so strongly about wanting the government to pry into your personal life. America was founded on the principles that the government is no better than the people they govern and we as individuals have the ability to ...
A few fun facts for you.

1. Customs and Border Protection can go through your phone, computer, or any other device any time you cross the border, or they can seize them outright. No warrant needed. They also assert the right to stop you and do th...

Oct 22, 2014, 9:42 PM

I know who the head of the FBI reports to

and if he protected Attorney General Eric Holder, you can bet James Comey has nothing to fear. This country is run by a dictator with no regard for the rule of law or the needs of American citizens. And an astoundingly huge crowd of cowards, otherwise known as the American people, voted him into two terms. The American people are losing their rights because they would prefer a free handout from the government to the uncertainty of living free.
Are you kidding me? Obama is the greatest thing that has ever happened to this country. Unemployment has dropped since Obama took office, the economy is no longer in a recession that Bush created. All the problems that Obama inherited from Bush and h...
Brad K

Oct 22, 2014, 2:54 PM

Keep this in mind on November 4th

When you go to vote on November 4th be sure you know which of the politicians are in favor of big government and which are the ones who feel government should stay out of our lives.

I don't want to get into a whole political discussion/argument so I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, but it is pretty clear which side is for more government regulation and which side is for less.
It's not as simple as one party vs. the other. Name either party, and I can give you the names of politicians on either side of the government surveillance issue.
I don't trust either party, don't fool yourself on less or more government with either.
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