FBI, Justice Department officials pressing encryption concerns before Congress

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Federal law enforcement officials are pressing their concerns about encryption before Congress, where they'll argue to senators that the right to privacy is not absolute.

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FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates are to appear Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

According to excerpts of her remarks, Yates will tell the committee that privacy interests "are not absolute" and must be balanced against public safety. She will say that the inability to access encrypted communications presents a "real national security and public safety problem."

The remarks are in line with public statements made over the last year by federal officials.

Technology companies, however, have pushed back against the government's position. In a May letter to the White House, they argued that strong encryption protects against "innumerable" threats.