FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday called for tech companies currently offering end-to-end encryption to reconsider their business model, and instead adopt encryption techniques that allow them to intercept and turn over communications to law enforcement when necessary.
End-to-end encryption, which is the state of the art in providing secure communications on the internet, has become increasingly common and desirable in the wake of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass surveillance by the government.
Comey had previously argued that tech companies could somehow come up with a “solution” that allowed for government access but didn’t weaken security. Tech experts called this a “magic pony” and mocked him for his naivete.
Now, Comey said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday morning, extensive conversations with tech companies have persuaded him that “it’s not a technical issue.”