Yesterday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by a former FBI official who argued, as the headline puts it, that "Apple and Google's new encryption rules will make law enforcement's job much harder." Today, it added an editor's note that suggested precisely the opposite.
The divide between privacy-rights advocates and defenders of the security establishment is hardly new, but ex-FBI guy Ronald T. Hosko seems to think smartphone-encryption is the hot locus of that debate. The current president of the "Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund" began his Post column with a story about how he'd once saved a kidnapped man in North Carolina, but that with Apple's new rules, Hosko would never have found the man, and the man likely would have been murdered.
But late last night, the Post added this note to the end of Hosko's piece:
* Editors note: This story incorrectly stated that Apple and Google's new encryption rules would have hindered law enforcement's ability to rescue the kidnap victim in Wake Forest, N.C. This is not the case. The piece has been corrected.
The Post may have changed the story, but it has yet to change the URL of Hosko's tale, which ends with the string "i-helped-save-a-kidnapped-man-from-murder-with-apples-new-encryption-rules-we-never-wouldve-found-him".