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#Public Sector

Report: FBI begins secret lobbying to gain access to Apple, Google encrypted customer data

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A new report from a well known intelligence historian and an expert on the National Security Agency (NSA), US claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has begun secret lobbying efforts to gain access to encrypted customer data of technology giants including Apple and Google.

Matthew M. Aid claims through his sources that the Obama administration has upped its efforts to grab hold of encrypted data and to force technology companies like Apple, Google to help authorities to spy on users.

Aid claims that FBI met with White House staff members last week in a classified briefing to discuss how encryption employed by technology companies is hurting police investigations. “The briefing included Democratic and Republican aides for the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees” said Aid’s sources.

“The meeting was held in a classified room, and aides are forbidden from revealing what was discussed”, notes Aid.

FBI director James Comey has been speaking against recent encryption efforts by Apple and Google, so much so he lashed out at these companies openly stating that default encryption employed in cellphones Google and Apple allows “people to place themselves beyond the law,” thereby limiting the power of the government.

Comey said that because of encryption, authorities are not in a position to access the required data even after they manage to get a warrant because of which criminals such as child predators, terrorists, and others could go free.

“The FBI has a sworn duty to keep every American safe from crime and terrorism, and technology has become the tool of choice for some very dangerous people,” Comey had said at the time.

It remains to be seen how the lobbying efforts will shape up and what effect they eventually generate considering that lawmakers are more inclined to cull government surveillance to at least limit it to a great extent rather than expand it.