Rosenstein Calls for Tech
Firms to Work With Law Enforcement|
November 30, 2018
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called on social
media companies and technology firms Thursday to work with law
enforcement to protect the public from cybercriminals.
Speaking at a symposium on online crime, Rosenstein said that
"social media platforms provide unprecedented opportunities for
the free exchange of ideas. But many users do not understand
that the platforms allow malicious actors, including foreign
government agents, to deceive them by launching vast influence
He said it was up to the companies to "place security on the
same footing as novelty and convenience, and design technology
He warned that if the technology sector failed to do so,
government would have to step in.
"I think the companies now do understand if they do not take it
upon themselves to self-regulate — which is essentially the
theme of my talk today — they will face the potential of
government regulation," he said.
Rosenstein's remarks came a day after the Justice Department
charged two Iranian hackers in connection with a
multimillion-dollar cybercrime and extortion scheme that
targeted government agencies, cities and businesses.
Rosenstein said many tech companies are willing to work with law
enforcement and to prevent the use of their platforms to spread
he said that "some technology experts castigate colleagues who
engage with law enforcement to address encryption and similar
challenges. Just because people are quick to criticize you does
not mean that you are doing the wrong thing."
U.S. law enforcement officials have long been pushing tech
companies to make it easier for them to access information on
private devices such as cellphones and social media accounts.
But most firms have resisted, citing privacy of the users.
Rosenstein said data encryption practices were a "significant
detriment to public safety."
"Improvements in the ability to investigate crime and hold
perpetrators accountable must match the pace at which technology
is making crimes easier to commit and more destructive,"
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