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Tim Cook

Here we go again: Paris attacks may renew encryption debate

The deadly attacks in Paris may soon reopen the debate over whether — and how — tech companies should let governments bypass the data scrambling that shields everyday commerce and daily digital life.

So far, there's no hard evidence that the Paris extremists relied on encrypted communications — essentially, encoded digital messages that can't be read without the proper digital "keys" — to plan the shooting and bombing attacks that left 129 dead on Friday. But it wouldn't be much of a surprise if they did.

So-called end-to-end encryption technology is now widely used in many standard message systems, including Apple's iMessage and...