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Tag: encrypted

Majority of Cyber Experts Surveyed Oppose FBI Need for Built-in Way to Access Encrypted Data

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has says its inability to crack encrypted cellphones during investigations makes the country less safe. But 72 percent of 100 cybersecurity leaders from government, academia and the private sector surveyed by the Washington Post’s  “Cybersecurity 202” disagree.

The survey showed a broad opposition to the FBI’s demand that device and software-makers give law enforcement a built-in way to access encrypted data with a warrant.

“Strong encryption is absolutely critical for keeping our data safe from criminals. This is especially important for mobile devices such as cellphones, which are easily lost or stolen,”  Matt Blaze, a cryptographer and computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, tells the Post. “Weakening encryption might make the FBI’s job easier in some cases … but that would be a very shortsighted policy that would create far more crime than it would solve.”

FBI Admits It Overstated Number of Encrypted Cellphones Investigators Can’t Access

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oops.

The FBI has long used the figure of 7,700 when talking about the number of encrypted cellphones that investigators are unable to access in 2017.

Now, USA Today reports that the number was inflated because of a flawed internal accounting system that relied on multiple databases.

The FBI issued a statement Tuesday saying it had recently became “aware of flaws with the methodology” used to gather statistics from three separate databases to measure the problem.

“The FBI’s initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported through (the FBI’s Operational Technology Division) databases,” according to the statement.

“The FBI is currently conducting an in-depth review of how this over-counting previously occurred, and how the methodology can be corrected to capture future data accurately.”

 

Ooops! U.S. Marshals Service Loses Track of at Least 2,000 Encrypted Two-Way Radios

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s an embarrassing revelation about the U.S. Marshals Service.

Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal reports that the agency has lost track of at least 2,000 encrypted two-way radios and other communication devices valued at millions of dollars.

The Journal cites internal agency documents, and notes that “some within the agency view as a security risk for federal judges, endangered witnesses and others.”

Barrett writes:

The problem, which stretches back years, was laid out in detail to agency officials at least as early as 2011, when the Marshals were deploying new versions of the radios they use to securely communicate in the field. Agency leaders continued to have difficulty tracking their equipment even after they were warned about the problems by an internal technology office, according to the documents, which were obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

To read more click here. 

Obama Administration Wants to Keep Better Tabs on Internet and Bank Transfers

internet-photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is making moves to try and get a better handle on the activities of terrorists.

Charlie Savage of the The New York Times reports that federal law enforcement and national security officials plan next year to seek new regulations from Congress that would allow agencies to get information on the Internet with a wiretap order.

The Times reports that agencies fear “their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is ‘going dark’ as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.”

The Times reports that the administration would ask Congress to change laws so that they could get info from encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry and social networks like Facebook and Skype.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima reports that the Obama administration wants to require all U.S. banks to report all electronic money orders in and out of the country to keep better tabs on terrorist financing and money laundering.

Currently, banks are required to report transactions that exceed $10,000. The new regulations would require all transfers to be reported regardless of size, the Post reports.

To read full NY Times story click here.

To read full Washington Post story click here.

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