FBI Director James Comey recently testified before Congress about what he characterized as law enforcement's increasing lack of technical ability to carry out court orders to intercept and access communications and information because of a fundamental shift in communications services and technologies. This issue has been coined the “going dark" problem. According to Comey, changes in technology such as encryption hinder law enforcement’s ability to use investigative tools and follow critical leads to stop terrorists and cyber criminals.
Is "going dark" a real problem, or are Director Comey's concerns overblown? Do the means exist to develop techniques and tools, designed to mitigate the challenges associated with "going dark," while maintaining the privacy-protecting attributes of the technologies at issue?
- Prof. Peter Swire, Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor of Law and Ethics, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology and Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird LLP
- Mr. Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution