Poor FBI: Phone encryption is a ‘vicious guard dog’

Poor FBI: Phone encryption is a ‘vicious guard dog’
Image: YouTube screen grab

[Ed. – Wrong metaphor, shipmate.  A judge can authorize YOU to kill a vicious guard dog for a 4th Amendment-compliant search.  The judge can’t order the homeowner to kill his own dog.  In any case, there’s a distinction here:  although the snooping agencies do want keys to digital encryption on people’s phones, that’s not technically what’s at issue in the San Bernardino terrorist’s case.]

FBI Director James Comey likened impenetrable digital encryption to a “vicious guard dog” Tuesday, as a high-stakes fight between privacy and national security moved from the courts to Congress.

“There’s already a door on that iPhone. We’re asking Apple to take the vicious guard dog away and let us pick the lock,” Comey said before the House Judiciary Committee. …

A judge in California two weeks ago directed Apple to help the FBI hack into a locked iPhone used by one of the gunmen responsible for the San Bernardino, California attacks that killed 14 people. But on Monday, a judge in Brooklyn said the Obama administration couldn’t force Apple to help it gain access to the phone.

Comey acknowledged Tuesday that either decision could set a precedent for other courts.

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