Episode #96: Jim Comey on Going Dark

The Lawfare Podcast

Oct 16 2014 • 56 mins

Issues of privacy and security are at the forefront of public debate, particularly in light of recent national security disclosures and increasingly pernicious cyber attacks that target our personal information, our ideas, our money, and our secrets. But are privacy rights trumping public safety interests?  And if so, at what cost?  Has the post-Snowden pendulum swung too far in one direction?

On October 16, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted FBI Director James Comey for a discussion of the impact of technology on the work of law enforcement. Law enforcement officials worry that the explosion in the volume and the means by which we all communicate threatens its access to the evidence it needs to investigate and prosecute crime and to prevent acts of terrorism.

In particular, officials worry that the emergence of default encryption settings and encrypted devices and networks – designed to increase security and privacy – may leave law enforcement in the dark. Director Comey spoke about the need for better cooperation between the private sector and law enforcement agencies. He also discussed potential solutions to the challenge of “going dark,” as well as the FBI’s dedication to protecting public safety while safeguarding privacy and promoting network security and innovation.

Following these remarks, Brookings Senior Fellow and Lawfare co-founder Benjamin Wittes moderated a discussion with Director Comey and took audience questions.

It's the Lawfare Podcast, episode #96, FBI Director James Comey on "Going Dark."

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