FBI director calls unbreakable encryption 'urgent public safety issue'

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Law enforcement's inability to access electronic devices due to powerful encryption is an "urgent public safety issue," FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday, in remarks that sought to rekindle a contentious debate over privacy and security.

Technology companies and many digital security experts have said the FBI's attempts to require devices allow investigators a way to access a criminal suspect's phone would harm internet security and empower malicious hackers. (Reporting by Dustin Volz Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)