FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Cobalt Software Platform - Mark43
Mark43's Cobalt software platform unites a set of law enforcement tools securely...

No upcoming webinars scheduled

Top News

FBI Blasts Apple, Google for Locking Police Out of phones

September 26, 2014  | 

FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when they have valid search warrants.

His comments were the most forceful yet from a top government official but echo a chorus of denunciation from law enforcement officials nationwide. Police have said that the ability to search photos, messages and Web histories on smartphones is essential to solving a range of serious crimes, including murder, child pornography and attempted terrorist attacks, the Washington Post reports.

“There will come a day when it will matter a great deal to the lives of people . . . that we will be able to gain access” to such devices, Comey told reporters in a briefing. “I want to have that conversation [with companies responsible] before that day comes.”

Comey added that FBI officials already have made initial contact with the two companies, which announced their new smartphone encryption initiatives last week. He said he could not understand why companies would “market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.”

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Ric Walters @ 9/26/2014 2:15 PM

I don't think it's a case of "putting themselves beyond the law," as much as it's a reaction to the government having placed itself beyond the law, and to the hackers who don't give a damn about it. If the NSA and other 3 letter agencies hadn't snooped into everyone's phones and emails, it's likely that Apple and Google wouldn't have felt the need to protect the privacy of their customers. Director Comey should remember that the Constitution trumps what he and others want. Were I still an active law enforcement officer, I'd love to have access to those devices, but I also realize that the ability to do so has been abused by the government (at all levels, not just the Feds), and this is nothing more than a reaction to all the invasions of privacy that have taken place.

Boston @ 9/26/2014 2:42 PM

Well said Ric!

Dy. M @ 9/26/2014 3:17 PM

The Constitution prevents illegal search and seizure but the director is complaining about encryption hindering legal search which, at least I believe, could be a serious problem with cyber-related crimes. It's similar to a warrant for a firearm used a murder being locked in a gun safe made so strong and the manufacturer not providing a "skeleton key" of sorts... just digital.

GP Cobb @ 9/26/2014 7:03 PM

And ditto to Boston and Ric. If we hadn't been stepped on by an over-reaching gobbernment, it would never have started this endless circle of infection. That said, I do NOT want my cell phone tracked or investigated. Eventually I hope to rid of the dammed things altogether.....

Bill @ 9/28/2014 7:40 AM

This is what happens when you introduce technology, such as the stingrays, into policing. Shouldn't have trampled all over the 4th amendment. Law enforcement, and their burueacratic brethren, are the sole reason for this turn of events. Had they not acted as the unscrupulous jackasses, with complete disregard for law and individual rights, there would be no need for this.
Now, Comey made his bed and he is whining about laying in it. Too bad, Comey.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Video: Paralyzed MO Officer Presented with Smart Home
The Gary Sinise Foundation will present a smart home to former Ballwin, MO, police officer...
Motorola Solutions Technology Aids Florida Agency in Intelligence-Led Policing
The department decided to implement Motorola Solutions' CommandCentral Analytics to turn...
Dacoll Group Wins 2017 SME Employer of the Year
NDI Recognition Systems' holding company, Scotland-based Dacoll Group, was awarded SME...
NDI Recognition Systems Achieves Silver Certification From UK Home Office NAS Program for Management Server
NDI Recognition Systems (NDI-RS) announced they are the first company to have received...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
Police Magazine