FBI: End-to-end Encryption Security Benefits Negligible


The benefits of end-to-end encryption in terms of security are negligible, but it does have a negative impact on the police's ability to protect the public. So says FBI director Christopher Wray, who advocates the use of "responsibly managed" encryption. In this case, it concerns encryption that, after a court order, can be decrypted by the provider. According to the American civil rights movement EFF , the FBI is exaggerating the impact that encryption would have on police investigations.


In recent years, the FBI has reported regularly that "encryption" is a problem in the detection and prosecution of criminals because it cannot access encrypted devices and communications. The term "Going Dark" is used for this. Last week, FBI Director Wray attended a Senate committee hearing on the storming of the Capitol in January.


During his statement, the FBI director also addressed the topic of "lawful access." Wray argued that end-to-end encryption and "user-only-access" are a serious problem that increasingly hampers the ability of law enforcement agencies to access evidence to protect society and prosecute perpetrators.


In addition, the security benefits of end-to-end and "user-only-access" encryption are negligible, according to Wray, but they have a negative effect on the ability of the police to protect the public. As a solution, Wray argued for the use of "responsibly managed" encryption, whereby providers can undo the encryption and hand over data to investigative services if they have a court order.


That is why there should be some form of encryption where the key is in the hands of the providers who manage the encrypted data. These companies can decrypt the data and hand it over to the authorities. According to Wray, the FBI is not asking for a backdoor. "Unfortunately, too much of the debate about lawful access is about this" backdoor "stooge, rather than what we really want and need," the FBI director said ( PDF ).


Wray went on to say that the FBI is very concerned about end-to-end encryption and that if nothing is done, investigative agencies will soon be unable to investigate common crimes. According to the EFF, the FBI director is not telling the whole truth. Investigation services in the US have all kinds of options for accessing phones and have investigated thousands of phones in recent years.


"What the FBI is actually asking is a method of breaking in that is cheaper, simpler and more reliable than the methods they already have," said Joe Mullin of the civil rights movement. According to Mullin, the FBI's request can only be granted if all platforms, applications and backdoors are backdoored.

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