For the last couple of years, technology and the Obama administration has had quite the relationship. Recently, it’s flared up again over the encryption issue.
Intense deliberation about encryption has taken months. The Obama administration decided it won’t push legislation requiring communication technology companies to decode messages for law enforcement whenever law enforcement wants. That’s a small victory for privacy rights advocates and Constitution advocates, but don’t pop the champagne yet. The White House still wants telecommunication companies to create ways for government to go into people’s data, but only for criminal and terrorist investigations. This is basically government agencies trying to walk the tightrope between public safety and ensuring privacy rights. However, FBI officials complain encryption makes it harder and harder to catch the bad guys. Take any smart device. Only the device owner has access to such data. So basically, in the case of smartphones, companies would be of little if any help even with a search warrant. National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh addressed this dilemma. He said, “As part of those efforts, we are actively engaged with private companies to ensure they understand the public safety and national security risks that result from malicious actors? use of their encrypted products and services.? ?Privacy rights advocates don’t trust the administration’s definition of strong encryption.
After months of quarreling over the encryption issue, little progress has been made. Don’t expect this issue to be solved or resolved anytime soon. Some of these complaints might be valiant. What if the guy with the smartphone is a terrorist, sociopath, psychopath, or career criminal? It might take more effort to catch him. But the point is, 99% of smartphone users don’t fit in such categories. So what about us? How long will they walk this tightrope? And can the handful of criminals be punished without taking it out on the rest of us?