San Bernardino victims deserve justice

February 22, 2016

fbiOPINION by Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Jim Comey

The San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message. It is about the victims and justice.

Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation under law. That’s what this is. The American people should expect nothing less from the FBI.

The particular legal issue is actually quite narrow. The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve. We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That’s it. We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land. I hope thoughtful people will take the time to understand that.

[ad1] Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn’t. But we can’t look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don’t follow this lead.

Reflecting the context of this heart-breaking case, I hope folks will take a deep breath and stop saying the world is ending, but instead use that breath to talk to each other. Although this case is about the innocents attacked in San Bernardino, it does highlight that we have awesome new technology that creates a serious tension between two values we all treasure – privacy and safety. That tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living.

It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living. It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before. We shouldn’t drift to a place – or be pushed to a place by the loudest voices – because finding the right place, the right balance, will matter to every American for a very long time.

So I hope folks will remember what terrorists did to innocent Americans at a San Bernardino office gathering and why the FBI simply must do all we can under the law to investigate that. And in that sober spirit, I also hope all Americans will participate in the long conversation we must have about how to both embrace the technology we love and get the safety we need.

 


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28 Comments

  1. NorthCountyGuy says:

    I smell BS. This article sounds like a huge deflection to cover up the gross incompetence of Big Government. In the meantime, the FBI should stop itself from pandering to CAIR.

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • tictac1 says:

      You nailed it. These creeps are just the new mob, that happen to occasionally do something good. Check out the Whitey Bulger documentary for a better view of what these guys are really like.

      “There is no mafia” – J Edgar Hoover

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. winedude says:

    If We give up a bit of privacy for security, within a very short period of time we will have neither…

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  3. r0y says:

    “Reflecting the context of this heart-breaking case, I hope folks will take a deep breath and stop saying the world is ending, but instead use that breath to talk to each other.”
    Oh, I am not saying the world is ending, just more of our freedoms and liberties; and I am using my breath to talk to others… about the over-reach of government, and their insidious use of a tragic crime to expand their unconstitutional dictates!

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
  4. mkaney says:

    Director Comey is either technologically ignorant or a huge liar, or both. There are ways in which the FBI can try to get into this phone. They can clone it and place the clone on thousands of virtual machines and THEN try to brute force the code, moving on to the next virtual machine each time one self destructs. They can pull the data from the phone bit by bit and then attempt to decrypt it separate from the phone’s operating system. They can collect most of the data by getting Apple, email services, and the phone’s carrier to pull point in time backups, And there are other ways I haven’t even considered.

    So why is it that they are trying to force Apple, an uninvolved third party, to set up a back door. Why is it that they are going directly “to the people” with a PR campaign to get public support? THAT IS NOT THEIR JOB. They should not be trying to influence policy like that, only enforcing it.

    The FBI, and law enforcement in general, has a growing track record of lying and manipulation. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS!

    (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down
    • laftch says:

      I vote liar.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
      • r0y says:

        I would paraphrase Trump here, Bureaucrats (politicians, in the original) “are not smart people…” We *want* them to be, and when they tell us about themselves and each other, they are super-smart. However, let reality come into play, and we see how little most actually bring to the table.

        Our smartest and most-capable people are typically not in government at any level. Why do we tend to forget this when we listen to these mouth-pieces?

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  5. Tracy says:

    Please investigate and arrest Adam Hill and his conspiring cronies. Thank you Director Comey.

    https://youtu.be/dIXF0Te-aTA

    (22) 34 Total Votes - 28 up - 6 down
  6. abigchocoholic says:

    “It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living. It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before. ”
    —————
    Get real. The average guy is just trying to get through the day and pay his bills. It should be resolved by you, the FBI because that is what we, the people pay you so much to do. So get it done–without the rhetoric.

    (4) 26 Total Votes - 15 up - 11 down

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