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US attorney general says encryption creates security risk


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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said Tuesday that increased encryption of data on phones and computers and encrypted messaging apps are putting American security at risk.




Barr’s comments at a cybersecurity conference mark a continuing effort by the Justice Department to push tech companies to provide law enforcement with access to encrypted devices and applications during investigations.


“There have been enough dogmatic pronouncements that lawful access simply cannot be done,” Barr said. “It can be, and it must be.”


The attorney general said law enforcement is increasingly unable to access information on devices, and between devices in the virtual world, even with a warrant supporting probable cause of criminal activity.


Barr said that terrorists and cartels often will switch mid-communication to an encrypted application to plan especially deadly operations. He described a transnational drug cartel’s use of WhatsApp group chat to specifically coordinate murders of Mexico-based police officials.


Gail Kent, Facebook’s global public policy lead on security, recently said that allowing the government’s ability to gain access to encrypted communications would jeopardize cybersecurity for millions of law-abiding people who rely on it. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.


“It’s impossible to create any backdoor that couldn’t be discovered, and exploited, by bad actors,” Kent said.


Kent said changing encryption practices won’t stop bad actors from using encrypted devices or applications on other services that might pop up to enable this.


Encrypted communications are ones that are only available to users on either end of the communications. The increasing use of this technology has long been coined by the Justice Department as the “going dark” problem.


The remarks acknowledged the need for encryption to ensure overall cybersecurity that has enabled people to bank relatively securely online and engage in e-commerce.


Barr said that to date, law enforcement in Garland, Texas, have been unable to access 100 instant messages sent between terrorists who carried out an attack there.


“The status quo is exceptionally dangerous, it is unacceptable and only getting worse,” Barr said. “It’s time for the United States to stop debating whether to address it and start talking about how to address it.”


Ex-FBI director James Comey championed the need for a law enforcement workaround to encrypted devices and communications. He led a highly publicized push to gain access to an iPhone belonging to a perpetrator of a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people in 2015.


From the Senate floor on Tuesday, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., responded to Barr’s remarks in New York calling it an “outrageous, wrongheaded and dangerous proposal.”


Wyden said Barr wants to “blow a hole” in a critical security feature for Americans’ digital lives by trying to undermine strong encryption and advocating for government backdoors into the personal devices of Americans. He said strong encryption helps keep health records, personal communications and other sensitive data secure from hackers.


“Once you weaken encryption with a backdoor, you make it far easier for criminals, hackers and predators to get into your digital life,” Wyden said. He said he fears and expects that Barr and President Donald Trump would abuse the power to break encryption if they were allowed to do so.


Given their records “it is clear to me that they cannot be trusted with this kind of power,” Wyden said.



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32 minutes ago, sl0pth3p1g said:

The govt wants to protect its citizens from the terrorists, and its citizens are more worried about the govt than the terrorists, speaks volumes IMHO!

If you think  using apps from Facebook is going to protect you i pity  you anyway . the whole reason there is a problem with it is the people who hold the keys to masses data can't be trusted, because they a 5 eyes  service, The net is too centralized and tech giants have access to all your info  if you don't stay away  .What they do them don't  effect me I use Linux and open source XMPP with a server from somewhere  way out of reach from 5 eyes with open source encryption. I did research before i signed up and found a server were i felt comfortable with there privacy policy , they don't log and are not responsible for anything you do on there server, they from such a place they can wave  all responsibly. Like the wild west.   :rofl:

Edited by steven36
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1 minute ago, steven36 said:

If you think  using apps from Facebook is going to protect you i pity  you anyway . the whole reason there is a problem with it are the people who hold the keys to masses data can't be trusted because the a 5 eyes  made app,  :rofl:


Yup, I totally agree.  Not just 5 eyes but 14 eyes.  When they stated it was made by FB, I thought to myself...😳  Personally, I don't like government that is invasive or intrusive in the life of regular law abiding citizen.  It goes against the 4th amendment of illegal search and seizures.  There is a reason why people don't trust big brother and that is because big brother always abuse it.  Just like big brother was abusing the Fisa warrants and we know that is done in secret where the people being spied upon did not have any recourse in defending themselves.   I am just reminded of the movie Vendetta.  We already have big brother installing cameras on the roadways, street corners, building, facial scanning at airport, etc.  The surveillance state is here and it is very scary.      


Furthermore, it is about people spying and using various apps to do it as well.  My family and I were victim of that.  Those bastard.  :bruce:  I would like to thank the two staff members on this site for listening and for giving me advice on what had happened to me.  Their knowledge and expertise were helpful in helping me put the puzzle together.  😎😀

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21 minutes ago, Infinite_Vision said:

Not just 5 eyes but 14 eyes.

Yes , Denmark, France, the Netherlands, , Norway Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden none of those can really be trusted  . Because Europol is like the FBI but still the EU have better privacy laws than the USA. In the USA  so far we don't have any laws on it  really . They fine tech giants for invading our privacy and  it do no good becuse there no piravcy laws in the USA  saying they can't.


Facebook just got a 5 billion dollar fine for selling data and now one there apps was letting kids into adult  conversions .  If they want to fix it break these Tech giants up. they the root of the problem.

Edited by steven36
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Oh yeah, and why do they feel like my privacy is more important than their security?

If only this nonsense guys just goes away...

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2 hours ago, SubZero5 said:

Oh yeah, and why do they feel like my privacy is more important than their security?

If only this nonsense guys just goes away...

Its a Circus , If you want privacy you should  not be using apps made by Big Tech  any proprietary app can be  silently updated with backdoor code and you would never know the app was backdoored  because you can't see the code. It's foolish to trust a company like Facebook who makes billions of dollars from invading it and selling  it with your privacy  All the time people go to jail because of something they did on Facebook and it not just the USA  they be working with,  it's law enforcement  around the world . A lot of stuff Kent said is true  in the OP , just like A lot of stuff Barr said was true . But that don't mean you can trust any of them with your privacy . Kent works for Facebook you can't trust them to not already have a backdoor to your data just like you can't trust Trump and Barr not to abuse it if they had one. I'm not going to trust Facebook or any  proprietary messenger  with my data no how problem solved. :lmao:


The USA government already have access too all of Big Tech's cloud data  it called the Cloud Act  , Germany already ban M$ , Google and Apple Cloud in schools because the Cloud Act  violate   the GDPR . They have a big problem they can't follow both laws without breaking one . So they may have to stop selling some services in the EU. But the rest of the world , were they still  will be able to sell it at is still  vulnerable  to the USA Government having a back door into the Cloud ,


It's the law every since 1986 they have to hand  over your data if they get a back door in encryption they will have it all again, just like did before they started using it. M$ try to fight them in court on it and lost .





Snowden was the biggest reason  Tech giants got interested in privacy , they never have cared about it and there track record proves it long after the Snowden leaks they violate your privacy . They wolves in sheep's clothing , the false prophets of the 2000s  . Instead of trying to sell you on GOD , They try to sell you on there Tech and just like the false prophets of the 1980s  they told you to trust them with your soul , the new ones  they want you to trust them with  your privacy and security while they get rich off you like the false prophets of the 1980s did. :rofl:




Edited by steven36
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@steven36 True, bro. Again, how can a simple user then protect him/her self especially given that they don't have the know-how to setup a server - let alone use open-sourced encryption?

No VPN can be trusted no matter what they say because if you accept what they say then you are caught in the blindfold too.

I think it's high time that all of us at Nsane try to set up a service that is for genuine and concerned honest citizens. We have our own method of figuring out the weird ones, right? and no terrorist is going to have time to come join our group and read and delve into stuff that we are into, right? 😛 how 's that for an idea? @straycat19 @Mach1 @Sylence @The AchieVer @november_ra1n

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