At a conference of intelligence experts, Mueller said that in some instances communications companies are unable to provide electronic communications the FBI seeks in response to court orders.
His comments came as the Obama administration considers proposals that would require service providers to make the plain text of encrypted conversations — over the phone, computer or e-mail — readily available to law enforcement.The FBI’s general counsel has said proposed changes would not expand law enforcement authority, but privacy advocates disagree.,Mueller said some people have suggested there is an inherent tension between protecting national security and preserving civil liberties.
“I disagree,” he said. “We have a right to privacy, but we also have a right to ride the subways without the threat of bombings. … It is a question of balance.”
Filed under: Surveillance