John Demers: Data Privacy, Law Enforcement Interception ‘Can Coexist’

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John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, has said that following the Australian and U.K. government’s examples will help the U.S. balance data privacy rights while improving law enforcement procedures, Nextgov reported Tuesday.

Demers told reporters ahead of the RSA Conference that rights to privacy and warranted government access to encrypted data “can coexist” and the Department of Justice supports flexible approaches to help entities like the Department of Defense.

He cited laws in Australia, which allow agencies to issue interception requests to communications providers. The U.K. also permits public-sector entities to intercept communications for national security purposes.

“I don't mean to suggest that there should be some encryption that's very encrypted, and something that's less encrypted or anything like that,” said Demers. “What I mean to say is everything should be strongly encrypted but there should be a way for the government to get access to that data with a court order.”

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