Last week, FBI director James Comey criticized companies like Apple and Google for enabling default encryption on their handsets. Comey called on Congress to remove phone encryption, but based on comments from members of Congress, it looks like that won’t be happening anytime soon, reports Vice.
One lawmaker, California Republican Rep. Darrell Isa, took to Twitter to criticize the FBI. “To FBI Director Comey and the Admin on criticisms of legitimate business using encryption: you reap what you sow,” tweeted Isa. “The FBI and Justice Department must be more accountable — tough sell for them to now ask the American people for more surveillance power.”
Other representatives, such as Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), echoed Isa’s statements. Zofgren believes that if Comey were to make a proposal that would give the FBI more surveillance power, the proposal would have “zero chance” of passing, as reported by The Hill. While Wyden thinks “a handful” of lawmakers would support such a proposal, he also told the publication that such a proposal would be dead on arrival.
These comments aren’t surprising, considering the current landscape. Public backlash regarding revelations pertaining to the National Security Administration’s and federal government’s years of questionable surveillance tactics is strong, and supporting a measure that would expand the FBI’s surveillance power would be the equivalent of political suicide. Unfortunately, there’s still the problem of Congress not rolling back the NSA programs.
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