Comey: Conversations about encryption issue still needed

NEW YORK (AP) – FBI Director James Comey says government and the tech industry need to sort out their differences over encryption before “something terrible happens” that would make productive conversations impossible.

The encryption debate took center stage earlier this year after the FBI demanded that Apple Inc. help it access an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Apple vowed a court fight, but the matter was ultimately dropped after a third-party provided the FBI with a way to access the phone’s information.

The FBI and other law enforcement maintain that without a so-called “back door” through strong encryption, investigators can’t get access to potentially crucial information. But much of the tech industry and privacy advocates counter that creating a back door would undermine security for everyone.

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