It's possible for companies to design their encryption systems to allow law enforcement agencies to access customer data with court-ordered warrants while still offering solid security, U.S. Department of Justice officials said.
U.S. tech companies should retain access to the encrypted information of their customers, instead of providing end-to-end encryption, in order to give police the tools they need to investigate crimes and terrorist activity, two senior law enforcement officials said.
After the U.S. Congress approved what critics have called modest limits on the National Security Agency's collection of domestic telephone records, many lawmakers may be reluctant to further change the government's surveillance programs.
A new bill in Congress would require law enforcement agencies to get court-ordered warrants before targeting U.S. residents in searches of electronic communications collected by the National Security Agency.
Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf argued Monday that more users should encrypt their data, and that the encryption back doors the U.S. FBI and other law enforcement agencies are asking for will weaken online security.
U.S. lawmakers are skeptical of an FBI request for Congress to mandate encryption workarounds in smartphones, with critics saying Wednesday that back doors would create new vulnerabilities that bad guys can exploit.
U.S. President Barack Obama's administration still believes in the use of encryption to protect digital information, even after top officials have questioned how law enforcement agencies will get access to data on encrypted devices, a White House advisor said.
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation access to overseas surveillance collected by sister organization the National Security Agency has expanded in recent years, with the law enforcement agency gaining access to collected but unprocessed data in 2009, according to a report released by the government.
Apple and Google should reconsider their plans to enable encryption by default on their smartphones, and the U.S. Congress should pass a law requiring that all communication tools allow police access to user data, U.S. FBI Director James Comey said.