FBI DIRECTOR James Comey is expecting technology companies to wake up and finally listen to his demand for changes to encryption that would essentially make his job easier and the technology security landscape more baggy.
Comey is not a fan of technology companies and their habit of making a feature of encryption, and has often suggested that this is one of those situations when less is more.
Unfortunately for him, the technology firms think otherwise and would rather offer the protection to their customers.
But Comey has now had enough, and wants to have a proper, he reportedly said "adult", conversation about the problem.
Comey said at the 2016 Symantec Government Symposium that the industry is wrong and that encryption is a marketing ploy that values sales over anti-terrorism.
We don't know what Symantec was expecting to hear, but if we were betting people we might have put a wager on encryption coming up.
Comey's comments follow an alert from the FBI about hacks on election databases, which the agency confirmed to us yesterday.
"While we cannot comment on specific alerts, what we can say is that in furtherance of public-private partnerships, the FBI routinely advises private industry of various cyber threat indicators observed during the course of our investigations," the FBI said.
"This data is provided in order to help systems administrators guard against the actions of persistent cyber criminals."
We have asked the FBI to confirm Comey's statements and are waiting for a reply. In the meantime, ABC News reported that he wants an "adult" conversation sometime next year and an end to the problem of companies "going dark", a term he used to refer to their unwillingness to bend to the FBI.
"The conversation we've been trying to have about this has dipped below public consciousness now, and that's fine because what we want to do is collect information this year so that next year we can have an adult conversation in this country," he said.
Comey may find that some parts of the industry are open to such a meeting, albeit with some concerns about how far and wide Comey wants to shine his surveillance torch.
"If Comey is finding the rooms to be dark, I will point out that he's trying to look further into our houses than ever before. The amount of information contained in our digital footprint and on our devices is unprecedented," said Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at encryption company Echoworx.
"I agree with him that there's a need to have an adult conversation, and I certainly hope he invites industry experts, legal scholars and security specialists to the table so that they can have their voices heard." µ
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