FBI Director Comey: "Even Our Communications With Our Spouses & Our Clergy Members Are Not Absolutely Private In America"
By Martin Hill
March 10, 2017

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[Note: You can listen to my latest interview, February 22, 2017 with John Friend of 'The Realist Report' here. One hour 31 minutes. The show notes page is here.]

FBI director James B. Comey gave a speech on cyber security at Boston College on March 8, 2017. Short provocative snippets of his speech are circulating, making tne rounds on the internet, particularly a clip where he says that "Even our memories are not absolutely private."

But as usual LibertyFight goes to the original source and posts the speech in its' entirety. Comey did indeed say some outrageous things in this speech, particularly where he said that the conveesations with our spouses and even our clergyman are not private and can be compelled by the government to reveal what was said. That is outrageously false, and we will address the veracity of Comey's claims, particularly regarding private conversations with the clergy, in an upcoming article.

But for today let's look at Comey's full speech. Below I have highlighted relevant excerpts from the speech in a transcript. I put the particularly interesting parts in bold text. Following that is the full video of the 50 minute speech.

To his credit, towards the end of his speech, Comey did say that maybe he is wrong, and that he, and the FBI, should be humble.

Here is the transcript of relevant points:

"You're stuck with me another six years. I'm very slippery I'll avoid things I don't want to talk about.

cyber threats... the bad actors. nation states China, Russia, Iran and North korea that's the stop of the stack that we focus on.

hacktivists are a motley crew

terrorists are at the bottom of the stack. they have not begun to use the internet

cyber attacks on our fundamental rights as Americans in this great country

there is a lot of thinking that goes into cyber intrusions . we have to be more reductive and less reactive

3 things we can do to reduce the threat

3. mitigating the damage

5 parts to FBI strategy

1. focus , where it happened
cyber threats team model - which field office has shown the greatest ability to respond to the threat

generates competition -"we've got the chops

2. counterterrorism fly teams. experts cyber action team CAT at the site of cyber intrusions

cyber task force in every office

3. stealing your talent attracting here at cyber trained talent to work for the FBI.

come be a part of this mission. a whole lot of young people want to be part of this mssion

fbi was #5 on most ideal employer

The FBI is an addictive life. it is addictive work

we're not going to beanbag and granola and white boards but were trying to get close to that . creative young people .

better be able to shoot even if you're behind a keyboard

(refers to applicants who) smoke weed on the way to the interview .. ...integrity physicality intelligence . you come and you never leave

take great ideas from young people

17:34 fbi responsibility is threat response. DHS is threat mitigation

it does not matter who you report terrorism to. it all goes to the joint terrorism task force

make the world smaller by embedded agents

they feel our breath on their neck of bad actors

we have many flaws we are dogged people. we just gave up on DB Cooper. we are dogged people who don't give up.

nation States engage in intelligence gathering

(but to) steal stuff to make money is criminal activity

make people think about us before they put their fingers on that keyboard

we have to get better in working with the private sector

the majority of intrusions on this country are not reported to us. (victims say) "we don't need to be entangled with the Feds"

so how are we going to get you to talk to us more. by yammering at you constantly.

we need conservative general counsel

:31 classified information procedures act CIPA

built a culture of trust and understanding

in the last six month "distracted by other things"

strong encryption is making more and more of the FBI room dark...

since Snowden. encryption has become the default. That shadow is spreading from the corner to more and more of our work.

28:00 devices. 1200 of those devices or 43 percent we could not open with any technique any technique... with any tool we could not open 43 percemt of these devices. that is a big deal.

we all value privacy and security , we should never have to sacrifice one for the other but our founders struck a bargain and the bargain goes like this ... 35:34

35:51 The government can not invade our privacy without good reason reviewable in court. That's the heart of America. But it also means that with good reason reviews in court, the government through law enforcement can invade our private spaces. That's the bargain of ordered liberty. The most common example is if law enforcement has probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime in some space that you control, whether that's your house, or safe deposit or a car, law enforcement goes to a judge, makes a showing of probable cause and gets a warrant. And then law enforcement can search wherever the judge told them they can search. And it can seize whatever the judge told them they could seize, They can take whatever the judge permitted them to take


But here's something that I don't mean to freak you out with but I think is true. Even our memories are not absolutely private in America. Any of us can be compelled in appropriate circumstances to say what we remember. What we saw. Even our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys, are not absolutely private in America.

In appropriate circumstances a judge can compel any one of us to testify in court about those very private communications. And there are really really important constraints on law enforcement, as there should be. But the general principle is one we've always accepted in this country. There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America. 37:19

There is no place in America outside of judicial reach. That's the bargain. And we made that bargain over two centuries ago to achieve two goals. To achieve the very very important goal of privacy and to achieve the very important goal of security.

widespread default encryption changes that bargain. In my view it shatters the bargain.

And there's something seductive about the notion of absolute privacy.

I love privacy. I have an Instagram account . I have nine followers. They are all immediate relatives, I have one daughter that has a serious boyfriend I let him in, cause I think it's gonna work out. I don't want anybody looking at my pictures. It's not innappropriate pictures but they are pictures of my life, where I travel, what I see, pictures of my children. I don't want anybody seeing them. I love privacy. But I also love and live by the bargain that I talked about that is at the heart of ordered liberty.

If we are gonna move to a place where wide swaths of American life are off limits to judicial authority, that's a different way to live. That is a change to something at the heart of our country that affects national security cases that the FBI works. It affects criminal cases that the FBI works. It is something we have to talk about. Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing.

But it is not something in my view that we should drift to. I don't ever want to get to a place where people say to me someday 'how come you didn't tell us that the room was going dark in which you operate?'

And so I'm not gonna let that happen. I am keen to force a conversation about this. To have people understand the impact. So we can have an adult conversation.

Now I know pepple bave had lots of great conversations with - people see it differently than I do, and that's fine, I may not be right. 39:13

But I hear people say 'well, you all can get metadata.' Or, you can do lawful hacking. ....

40. I love strong encryption. strong encryption is a great thing. it is not the FBIs job to tell the American people how to live. Our job is to investigate. I think our job is to tell people when our tools become ineffective you ought to know about it, so you can figure out what to do.

:42 I think it's the American people's job to figure out how we want to live and how we want to govern ourselves. To have that conversation which is really really hard, we need to do a few things. we need to stop bumper-stickering each other. There are no evil people in this debate.

Maybe I see the world too darkly, given what I see. We need to stop tweeting at each other.... The cyber threats we face are enormous. I don't know if we can stay ahead of them. And I think to say otherwise would be hubris. We're standing in the middle of the greatest transformation in human history. All of our lives are changing in incredible ways. I think it requires a humility on the part of the FBI and on all of us who care about this issue to understand we may not know enough, we may not be smart enough, we may not be fast enough but starting from humility allows us to make better decisions. And we have to be humble enough to know, okay were pretty good but we can be a lot better.

.... we need to build trust between the government and the private sector. And most of all we need to work together. Thank you for your willingness to try and make us safer, and I appreciate you listening to me. (applause.) 44:50

Here is the full video of Comey's speech:

Here is the one minute clip with his most provocative remark

Outstanding Mission for Lent on The Four Last Things: DEATH, JUDGMENT, HEAVEN & HELL AudioSancto.org (Must-hear!! Given by a great traditional Latin Mass priest. You can listen in the car while driving. You will like this a lot, I guarantee it.)

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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleo-conservative and civil rights advocate. In 2015, President Donald J. Trump in front of a live international TV audience, said Hill was "very committed" and "got a lot of energy," adding that "he's on our side" and "is a Trump guy." In addition to being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast, Hill's work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RedState.com, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, InvestmentWatchBlog, Strike-The-Root.com, Antiwar.com, Mark Glenn's 'The Ugly Truth' Blog & radio show, Michael Hoffman's RevisionistHistory.org, John Friend's TheRealistReport.com, Sophia Smallstorm's Blog, DrDay.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com, DontWakeMeUp.Org, RandPaukZionist.com and JohnInBarbados.com.

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