According to an article in the New York Times, the FBI asked a judge to help break encryption software all the way back in 2003 – over a decade before the latest case involving Apple and the FBI. Brian Spector, CEO at MIRACL,  has the following comments:

Brian Spector, CEO at MIRACL:

“Encryption is the bedrock of privacy online. It is the most effective way to keep information free from the prying eyes of either hackers or government spies. Most people support this concept when it comes to keeping their own corporate or personal data secure, but they also want law enforcement to be able to catch criminal or terrorist activity. But unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways – the same technologies, standards and products are used by everyone. The same vulnerabilities used by intelligence agencies to spy on global citizens can also be used by criminals to steal your passwords. So we either enable spying – by both governments or hackers – or we defend against it.

“This of course makes it highly contentious. It’s no wonder governments worldwide would prefer to keep us in the dark about such activity, because if people really understood how much it threatens our collective security online, they would be unlikely to support it. There are numerous examples of government efforts to hinder encryption technologies, which doesn’t just damage the products and technologies in question, but threatens to erode trust in the Internet entirely. For trust to be effectively restored, users need to believe that the systems they use online are not part of a government program to spy or snoop on its citizens.”

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