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By James Eng

The director of the National Security Agency says encryption is here to stay, and to argue about how to get rid of it is a waste of time.

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who is also commander of U.S. Cyber Command, outlined his view in a talk on Thursday at the Atlantic Council.

Some U.S. officials, including FBI Director James Comey, have argued that encrypted communications make it much for harder for law enforcement to go after terrorists and other criminals.

Tech firms like Apple and Google contend that weakening encryption could harm online security and provide bad guys with a backdoor to users' data.

Related: 200 Cyber Activists Urge World Leaders to Reject Encryption 'Back Doors'

Rogers, in his talk, said everyone should realize encryption isn’t going away.

"Encryption is foundational to the future, so spending time arguing about, 'Hey, encryption is bad and we ought to do away with it,' that’s a waste of time to me," Rogers said. "Encryption is foundational to the future, so what we’ve got to ask ourselves is, given that foundation, what’s the best way for us to deal with it?"