Skip to main content
Tags: attorney general | william barr | technology | terrorism | cartels | crime

AG Barr Calls for Big Tech's Help Against Terror, Cartels, Crime

william barr gestures during a congressional hearing
Attorney General William Barr (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 July 2019 08:51 PM EDT

Attorney General William Barr says big technology companies have to help law enforcement officials investigate terrorists, drug cartels, and other criminal suspects who use encrypted messaging apps.

In an address Tuesday at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York City, Barr said encrypted and secure "consumer products and services" offered by Apple, Facebook, and other tech firms threaten national security, The Washington Times reported. 

Those products include messaging, smartphones, email, and voice and data apps that prevent unauthorized scrutiny of their content.

"By enabling dangerous criminals to cloak their communications and activities behind an essentially impenetrable digital shield, the deployment of warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society," Barr declared, the Times reported.

Law enforcement officials have argued encryption thwarts their ability to prosecute criminals and pushed for access in 2015 to the encrypted devices and communications of one of the killers in a terrorist attack that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. The FBI ultimately found a way to hack into the device.

Barr argued terrorists and cartels were exploiting the technology to plan operations, such as the coordination of murders of Mexico-based police officials.

"The status quo is exceptionally dangerous, it is unacceptable and only getting worse," he said. "It's time for the United States to stop debating whether to address it and start talking about how to address it."

Experts and privacy advocates pushed back.

"A magic decryption wand would surely help them [law enforcement] if one could exist," Georgetown University cryptography professor Matt Blaze tweeted. "But so would time travel, teleportation, and invisibility cloaks. Let's stick to the reality-based world."

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a privacy hawk, called Barr’s remarks "outrageous, wrongheaded and dangerous."

"Many times in the past I have warned that unnecessary government surveillance holds the potential to be abused," Wyden said, The Hill reported.

"But I have never done what I am doing today. Today, I fear — rather, I expect — that if we give this attorney general and this president the unprecedented power to break encryption across the board . . . they will abuse those powers."

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Big technology companies should work to help law enforcement officials investigate terrorists, drug cartels, and other criminal suspects who use encrypted messaging apps, according to Attorney General William Barr.
attorney general, william barr, technology, terrorism, cartels, crime
350
2019-51-23
Tuesday, 23 July 2019 08:51 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved