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Eli Lake

Government Is Fighting Itself on Encryption

The FBI worries about easy-to-use cloaking tools. The sort that the State Department financed.
WhatsApp, for good or evil.

WhatsApp, for good or evil.

Photographer: David Ramos/Getty Images

The FBI has a long list of enemies. There are of course terrorists, organized criminals and street gangs. One can't forget hackers and foreign spies. Add to this list an unlikely foe: Radio Free Asia.

How does a cold-war-era government broadcasting outlet end up posing a threat to the FBI? Because the broadcaster wanted to get its news content into countries with Internet censorship, and the FBI is now worried that the technology it helped foster is enabling cyber criminals.