I’d Better Not Catch You Locking Your Doors At Night, Sir

If only governments could act responsibly, poor bastards like FBI Director James Comey wouldn’t have to hold press conferences and say stupid things.

FBI Director James Comey has complained that Apple and Google’s use of stronger encryption in smartphones and tablets makes it impossible for cops and g-men to collar criminals.
“There will come a day – well it comes every day in this business – when it will matter a great, great deal to the lives of people of all kinds that we be able to with judicial authorization gain access to a kidnapper’s or a terrorist or a criminal’s device,” he apparently told a press conference.

“I just want to make sure we have a good conversation in this country before that day comes. I’d hate to have people look at me and say, ‘Well how come you can’t save this kid,’ ‘How come you can’t do this thing.'”

“I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is above the law,” Comey said.
“What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”

That above the law bit, perhaps you’ll want to give that speech to the NSA and your own organization instead of lecturing tech companies and the world at large. If you want to know why encryption is such an attractive feature to so many these days, I’ve got a mirror you can borrow.

“I get that the post-Snowden world has started an understandable pendulum swing,” he said. “What I’m worried about is, this is an indication to us as a country and as a people that, boy, maybe that pendulum swung too far.”

If you mean the rifle through everyone’s electronic belongings in the name of safety pendulum then yeah, waaaaaay too far. Hence, encryption.

Let me explain this all old timey like so it’s easy to understand.

Anyone with any sense locks their doors when they’re sleeping or not home. Why? So that people can’t just waltz in and rifle through their stuff. It’s not perfect, but when it comes to methods for keeping money, personal documents, pictures and the like safe, we’ve yet to come up with a better one. Just because digital things can’t be touched, it doesn’t mean those things are any less important or sensitive. They do, after all, include money, personal documents, pictures and the like. Things we’d like to keep private.

Think of a person’s computer or phone as a portable filing cabinet or maybe even a little house. Just like you lock your big house to keep people from getting in, people want to keep the things in those little houses safe. And just because we can physically hand that tiny thing over at the airport or the border much more easily than we can pick up a house, that doesn’t mean we’re keen on it or should have to without one of those rule of law style court orders or search warrants.

The fact that something can be looked at be that thing physical or digital doesn’t mean the right of the police or government to look at that thing is or should be any different. If you truly believe that the analogue and virtual worlds are all that different in that respect, I humbly offer this piece of advice. Stop hanging out with people from the entertainment industry. Their silliness is rubbing off.

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