Rebecca Blumenstein and Jason Anders, Wall Street Journal:
Congress, not companies, should determine U.S. policy on access to encrypted data on cellphones and other devices, AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said in an interview.
“I don’t think it is Silicon Valley’s decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do. I understand Tim Cook’s decision, but I don’t think it’s his decision to make,” Mr. Stephenson said Wednesday in an interview here with The Wall Street Journal at the World Economic Forum.
Oh, the same Congress that unblinkingly passes surveillance bills? That one?
At the moment, the laws that require access for law enforcement only apply to telecommunications services; iMessage and FaceTime do not fit the description established by those laws. As a result, any Silicon Valley firm can make that decision, unless the law is changed.
The AT&T chief said his own company has been unfairly singled out in the debate over access to data. “It is silliness to say there’s some kind of conspiracy between the U.S. government and AT&T,” he said, adding that the company turns over information only when accompanied by a warrant or court order.
It’s not a conspiracy theory. AT&T and the NSA love each other so much that they literally got a room.