FBI Director Seeks Aid in Accessing Mobile Phone Data

FBI Director James Comey says either regulators or Congress need to step in to insure law enforcement has access to the data it needs to catch the bad guys, and that means applying some laws to edge providers that apply to ISPs and telcos.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution Thursday, Comey suggested the pendulum had swung too far in the other direction following the Edward Snowden data collection disclosures.

"[T]he prevailing view is that the government is sweeping up all of our communications," he said. "That is not true. And unfortunately, the idea that the government has access to all communications at all times has extended—unfairly—to the investigations of law enforcement agencies that obtain individual warrants, approved by judges, to intercept the communications of suspected criminals."

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.