FBI chief calls encryption a ‘major public safety issue’

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray renewed a call for tech companies to help law enforcement officials gain access to encrypted smartphones, describing it as a “major public safety issue.”  Director Wray said the bureau was unable to gain access to the content of 7,775 devices in fiscal 2017 — more than half of all the smartphones it tried to crack in that time period — despite having a warrant from a judge. “Being unable to access nearly 7,800 devices in a single year is a major public safety issue,” he said, taking up a theme that was a signature issue of his predecessor, James B. Comey. “We’re not interested in the millions of devices of everyday citizens,” he said in New York at Fordham University’s International Conference on Cyber Security. “We’re interested in those devices that have been used to plan or execute terrorist or criminal activities.”


FBI chief calls encryption a ‘major public safety issue’