FBI Director James Comey, speaking at a Boston College cyber security conference, stressed his plea for technology companies to allow and enable authorities to access encrypted data on mobile devices as well as in necessary applications.
Comey pointed that strong encryption had become more popular in the past recent years, especially after former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. spying programs.
The bureau chief also reiterated that the use of technology for scrambling has made it even more difficult for law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes, even if the authorities have in their possession court orders allowing them to access data. Comey said that FBI technicians were unable to access around 1,200 of some 2,800 devices that state and local agencies asked the FBI to help open from the period of October to December last year, and in the process delayed the progress of criminal investigations.
In the same event, Comey mentioned that he has no plans of resigning or vacating his position at the bureau. He said the public would be stuck with him for the next six years and a half as he fully intends to complete his 10-year term.
There are talks that his relations with the White House might be marred by his disagreement with President Trump's claims that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Towers during the election. Comey also urged officials from the Justice Department to refute Trump's assertion of wiretapping because he claims it falsely suggest that the FBI may have broken the law with its supposed complicity for the illegal act during Obama's term.
For its part, the White House declared that Comey continues to enjoy the administration's confidence despite challenging Trump's statements on the wiretapping incidence.
Earlier, Democrats led by Hillary Clinton and their liberal supporters blamed Comey with Hillary's humiliating election defeat by claiming his decision to announce the reopening of the FBI's investigation into Hillary's private email server during the crucial homestretch of the campaign badly hurt her ambitions to become the first woman American president.