Law enforcement agencies across the United States have tools to access data stored on encrypted iPhones, a report claims, with at least 2,000 agencies in the country now having the means to gain access to further their criminal investigations.
The US Department of Justice, in conjunction with the "Five Eyes" nations, has issued a statement asking Apple and other tech companies to effectively create backdoors that will weaken encryption strength overall to provide law enforcement access to data.
U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act, a bill that seeks to weaken encryption technologies that have in the past put a damper on law enforcement operations.
The gunman at the center of the Pensacola shooting had links to Al Qaeda, the FBI investigation has uncovered, with the details claimed to have been sourced from iPhones that the government unlocked without Apple's assistance.
There is nobody keener than an Apple fan to take a leaked version of iOS, pore over it in depth, and find out all its hidden secrets — except one. Even more motivated and determined than even the greatest Apple spelunker, is the criminal, the terrorist, the bad actor — and they absolutely shouldn't be given the chance to do so with an encryption backdoor of any sort.
Attorney General William Barr has urged Apple and other tech giants to fight child sexual-abuse material circulation in a set of voluntary principles, but despite eliminating any mention of encryption, the general sentiment that tech companies should introduce backdoors is still present.
The increased use of encryption has made the Internet a "wild west, unregulated, inaccessible to authorities, according to chief of British security agency MI5 Sir Andrew Parker, with the use of end-to-end encryption by Apple and other tech companies continuing to make it nearly impossible for law enforcement officials to monitor online conversations.
The Federal Bureau Investigation into the Pensacola shooting is still unable to access encrypted data on a suspect's iPhone, Director Christoper Wray has admitted, with no progress made on acquiring data from the device.
The continuing push by US Attorney General William Barr and government officials for Apple and other tech companies to assist law enforcement by weakening encryption is a continuation of a long-standing argument, but some within the FBI disagree with the latest political volleys to break device security.
Starting on January 20, 2020, Scotland police will begin using "cyber kiosks" to extract and examine the contents of smartphones — including iPhones — that have data relevant to investigations or accidents.
The FBI recently cracked the encryption of Apple's latest and greatest iPhone 11 Pro Max, a report said Wednesday, prompting questions as to why the agency is demanding the company assist in accessing two older iPhone models as part of a high-profile case.
President Donald Trump waded into the encryption battle on Tuesday with a tweet calling on Apple to "unlock" iPhones at the request of law enforcement agencies, suggesting the company should do so because of help it receives on trade and "other issues."
Demands from the FBI and Attorney General William Barr for Apple to provide more help to the ongoing Pensacola shooter investigation did not need to be made, as security experts have pointed out the existence of hacking tools that could have granted access to locked iPhones — which law enforcement has at their disposal already.
Apple on Monday denied a public request from U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to unlock iPhones owned by a Saudi Air Force cadet accused of killing three people at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., refuting the AG's claim that it has not provided "substantive assistance" in the investigation.