Apple has previously denied the accusation as a “smear” originating from the U.S. department of justice’s effort to force Apple to help unlock the iPhone 5C used by one of the two San Bernardino killers, who were inspired by Islamist militants. Yet that has done little to quell the controversy.
The FBI is facing an increasing struggle to access readable information and evidence from digital devices because of default encryption, a senior FBI official told members of Congress at a hearing Tuesday.
“We really need the cooperation of industry, we need the cooperation of academia, we need the cooperation of the private sector”, Hess said.
Security experts said if the U.S. was able to obtain Apple’s source code with a court order, other governments would demand equal treatment. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. The FBI has refused to disclose exactly how it cracked the iPhone belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook and has only said that it relied on an “unidentified third-party” to hack the device and extract the data.
Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell did testify before the committee that “100 percent of our users would be made more vulnerable if we were forced to build a back door” while FBI Executive Assistant Director of the Technology and Technology Branch Amy Hess did contend that “increasingly, some technologies are prohibiting law enforcement” from accessing “critical evidence”.
“Technology is changing very rapidly”, Hess said. “We work hard also to assist law enforcement, because we share their goal of creating a safer world”, he said. Apple also has refused a Justice Department request that it break into an iPhone 5s owned by a suspected methamphetamine dealer in Queens, New York, named Jun Feng.
During the hearing, Sewell was pressed by law enforcement officials regarding reports that Apple has handed over information to Chinese authorities, despite its refusal to aid in situations like the controversial San Bernardino case. Law enforcement officials testifying before the committee Tuesday expressed frustration over their inability to run a number of cases to ground – particularly sex abuse and child pornography cases – because of encrypted phones.
Sewell said the offer still stands, and Murphy said he would like to help facilitate the swap.
Declining to offer more specifics, FBI investigators concluded there was data on the phone they did not have previously, CNN reported.
Both Hess and Sewell said the relationship between tech companies and law enforcement is, and should be, less adversarial than it looks like from the outside. The encryption debate is continuing in other quarters. This is after the Federal Bureau of Investigation had told the magistrate judge that the Federal Bureau of Investigation needed Apple’s help to accomplish the task. And last week, Sen.
Worldwide, the company said it received 30,687 requests in those six months.
“In every case, we have the ‘file cabinet, ‘ as it were, and the legal authority to open it, but we lack the technical ability to do so because encryption protects the contents of those 67 Apple devices”, Galati said. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
“We have not provided the source code to the Chinese government”. City and state law enforcement officials support the Senate draft bill, but it faces strong opposition from many in Congress.