by Melanie Hunter CNSnews:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that encryption is “the Achilles’ heel in the Internet” when it comes to tracking terrorists.
“[FBI] Director [James] Comey and I think [CIA Director] John Brennan would agree that the Achilles’ heel in the Internet is encryption, because there are now — it’s a black Web and there’s no way of piercing it. And it’s even in commercial products. PlayStation, John, which our kids use, if the two ends communicate, that’s encrypted,” said Feinstein. “So, terrorists could use PlayStation to be able to communicate, and there’s nothing that can be done about it.”
On July 8, CNN reported that Comey told a Senate panel in July that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used encrypted programs to evade detection by law enforcement. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, the New York Post quoted Belgian federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon on Nov. 16 as saying, “PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp,” the cross-platform mobile messaging system for smartphones and BlackBerry devices.
“The tech community says if you tried to do something, develop a backdoor that law enforcement could use, that that would open up all kinds of other communication. It would — financial transactions, other sensitive information would then be at risk if what you’re talking about would be put into place,” host John Dickerson said.
“No, I don’t think so,” Feinstein said. “I think, with a court order, with good justification, all of that can be prevented. It can be prevented in Europe, because Europe has been a major driver for more encryption, and I think they are now seeing the results.
“I have visited with all of the general counsels of the tech companies just to try to ask them to take bomb-building recipes off the Internet, recipes that have been tested and we know can explode a plane, directions, where to sit on the plane to blow it up,” she said.
“We know there are bombs that can go through magnetometers, and to put that information out on the Internet is terrible, and I sort of got, well, pass a law. So, we may just have to do that, but I am hopeful that the companies, most of whom are my constituents — not most, but many — will understand what we’re facing,” Feinstein said.
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