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FBI: We’re not demanding encryption back doors

by
February 21, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via cnet News

The FBI said today that it’s not calling for restrictions on encryption without back doors for law enforcement.

FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told a congressional committee that the bureau’s push for expanded Internet wiretapping authority doesn’t mean giving law enforcement a master key to encrypted communications, an apparent retreat from her position last fall.

“No one’s suggesting that Congress should re-enter the encryption battles of the late 1990s,” Caproni said. There’s no need to “talk about encryption keys, escrowed keys, and the like–that’s not what this is all about.”

Instead, she said, discussions should focus on requiring that communication providers and Web sites have legally mandated procedures to divulge unencrypted data in their possession.

As CNET was the first to report yesterday, the FBI says that because of the rise of Web-based e-mail and social networks, it’s “increasingly unable” to conduct certain types of surveillance that would be possible on cellular and traditional telephones. Any solution, it says, should include a way for police armed with wiretap orders to conduct surveillance of “Web-based e-mail, social-networking sites, and peer-to-peer communications technology.”

More here.