FBI chief says US law enforcement will keep indicting foreign hackers
Just as technology has become a force multiplier for the good guys, it has become a force multiplier for the bad guys.
For terrorists, hackers, spies, criminals.
And what I know, is that not a week goes by where I don't encounter, across basically all of our programs, some significant, sometimes insurmountable, impediment.
From some of the same criminals, hackers, spies, etc, hiding with encrypted devices or encrypted messaging platforms.
I get a little frustrated when people suggest that we're trying to weaken encryption.
To be clear, those are not our words.
We're not trying to weaken encryption, we're not seeking back doors any more than I think the folks, the well intentioned critics on the other side are trying to weaken public safety.
But I do know that this is an issue that is getting worse and worse all the time.
And every state and local law enforcement leader I deal with, every member of the intelligence community I deal with, every farm partner I deal with is raising this issue with growing urgency.
And so while we are a very strong believer in strong encryption, after all cyber security is part of the FBI's mission Too.
We're also duty-bound to protect the American people.
And we have to figure out a way to deal with this problem.
It can't be sustainable in-state for there to be an entirely unfettered space that's utterly beyond fully lawful access for criminals, terrorists and spies to hide.
The department of justice has made a number of high profile arrests and indictments against Chinese citizens and Chinese companies.
To what extent is that being driven by our ongoing trade discussions with the Chinese government?
So not at all.
This is not about trade, it's not about politics, it's not even about diplomacy, it's about the rule of law.
And we're going to, in everything we do, as long as I have anything to say about it, we're gonna follow the facts independently, wherever they may lead, to whomever they may lead, no matter who likes it.
And that means when we find somebody who's committing federal crimes against Americans or American businesses, we're gonna go after them.
And I don't really care what some foreign government has to say about it.
the audience agrees.
For people who are thinking about becoming cyber or technical agents for the Bureau, what would you say to them?
Well, first I would start with, from my own persepective.
Having now been in and out of law enforcement and national security, in the private sector on a couple of occasions now, I I can assure you the grass is browner.
[LAUGH] We're dealing with the most sophisticated, toughest cyber actors in the world.
And if you want the ability to take on those people and to be on the front lines.
Lines of that battle.
Dealing with incredibly cutting edge technology but also dealing with the most formidable adversaries who are trying to destabilize this country.
Destabilize our companies.
Hurt American citizens you would be in the right place.