FBI Director Comey has already admitted to not being a technologist so it makes you wonder why he does not understand that strong encryption will make everyone safer:
Today, we have far more to protect online – from our financial transactions to our private health information, companies’ sensitive intellectual property, plans for our military systems, and our our personal communications. All of that information is (or should be) protected by strong encryption. And yet all of those categories of information have already been breached by unauthorized hackers. Sadly, the cyber-attackers, whether they are criminals, the Chinese, Russians, or North Koreans, have a far easier time than the cyber-defenders.
But weakening security systems by forcing companies to hold an encryption key will undermine rather than enhance our security.
First, ensuring government access to encrypted communications means that devices, apps and services have a built-in vulnerability for anyone to exploit. This is true whether the company holds the key or gives it to the government. The existence of an encryption key in the hands of someone other than the end user greatly increases the risk that those communications can be compromised. The more holders of encryption keys, the greater the risk that the communications can be accessed by the good guys and the bad guys.
Creating encryption access is not a single point problem; it would require access at all points of the chain. If a device manufacturer provides encryption access, the operating system developer may encrypt for privacy. Even if the OS has a encryption key for law enforcement, the data custodian also may encrypt, or the app developer, or the peripheral manufacturer. Requiring that law enforcement have encryption access means creating multiple built-in vulnerabilities, each requiring a trusted custodian at each company to hold that key to secure the data.