The tension between protecting online and device privacy and helping law enforcement track down criminal activity was on display Thursday (Oct. 3).
That came after Attorney General Bill Barr planned to join with other countries in a letter asking Facebook not to deploy end-to-end encryption.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Facebook, said it was "dismayed" by Barr's opposition to strong encryption, though the Justice Department has made it clear in the case of Apple and its reluctance to provide back doors to device security that it needs access to info, whether in devices or elsewhere.
“Strong encryption is increasingly vital to the privacy and security of individuals, national security and economic prosperity," said CCIA President Ed Black. "Companies should be encouraged to develop and employ the security standards that the public expects for their devices and online activity. ”
In a speech back in July, Barr said time was running out on warrant-proof encryption and painted a bleak picture of the internet and communications platforms morphing into "law free" zones where criminals "go dark" with impunity leading to more crime, abetted by Big Tech.