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John Oliver on Why the FBI is Wrong About Encryption

If there’s a topic of cultural and/or political importance that has yet to be clearly explained in depth, leave it to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to do the research and bring all the facts to the table. In the past, Oliver has discussed U.S. territories, government surveillance, and other areas of politics and life that never get a no-B.S. breakdown. On his latest episode, Oliver discussed the recent disagreement between Apple and the F.B.I. regarding encrypted cell phones.

For those unfamiliar with the case, the F.B.I. has requested that Apple create a way for the government to gain access to locked iPhones to help with criminal investigations, but Apple values the privacy of its customers too much to do that. As Oliver put it, “There is no easy side to be on in this debate,” but he lays out relevant points to give a full-bodied view of the story.

He brings up previous failed attempts at encryption with exceptions, and how even if Apple limited or weakened the level of encryption on its devices, there are plenty of third-party options for sending encrypted messages and storing encrypted data. Oliver concludes the segment by saying, “Strong encryption has its costs, from protecting terrorists to drug dealers to child pornographers, but I happen to feel that the risks of weakening encryption, even a little bit, even just for the government, are potentially much worse,” adding that he is “on Apple’s side in this case.”

Watch the 18-minute clip above, and let us know in the comments which side you sympathize with.

IMAGE: HBO

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