“Are we no longer a country that is passionate both about the rule of law and about their being no zones in this country beyond the reach of that rule of law? Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?”
Director of the FBI James Comey explaining why he believes privacy should be illegal
If you think I’m exaggerating, please read the article (hint: the subject line is another quote from the article). Reading it, I genuinely can’t tell if Comey simply doesn’t understand what he’s talking about or if simply thinks his audience is stupid. “Criminals and terrorists” would love end-to-end encryption. You know who else would? Credit card companies. More than a few of these massive credit card leaks could have been avoided with end-to-end encryption. He goes on and on about what the “bad guys” want as though those aren’t things that everybody would want. “Oh noes! Terrorists want drinking water! We must destroy all potable water!” He also fails to mention that, while some “bad guys” (I cannot tell you how badly I hate his infantilizing the conversation this way) would love to see encryption outlawed. Pretty much anyone who seeks unlawful access to your computer, not just law enforcement, would absolutely love what Comey is suggesting.
And let’s answer Comey’s question, shall we? Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular? Why yes, yes we have. Mr. Comey and his ilk have utterly betrayed the trust they were given when they were authorized to fight against these, *cringe* “bad guys.” They’ve lied at every opportunity when asked about the scope of what they’re doing, about the oversight they’re operating under, and who they’re spying on. Why on earth would we trust them not to abuse access to electronic communication? It’s what they do. It’s who they are. I genuinely don’t think they could do otherwise if they tried.