Apple recently introduced a number of new privacy-focused features designed to better protect user data stored in iCloud, but while privacy advocates and human rights organizations have praised the move, law enforcement has raised concerns.
Apparently, they are not opposed to improving privacy, but instead are concerned that criminals from all walks of life may abuse this privilege.
In a statement sent by e-mail to the address Washington TimesThe FBI said Apple’s end-to-end encryption (opens in a new tab) “impedes our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism.”
Compromises for security
“In the age of cybersecurity and security by design requirements, the FBI and law enforcement partners need ‘lawful access by design’.
At the same time, former FBI official Sasha O’Connell spoke to reporters New York Times, saying there are caveats to keep in mind. “It’s great to see companies prioritize security, but we have to remember that there are trade-offs, and the impact this has on limiting law enforcement’s access to digital evidence is often not considered.”
Apple recently rolled out a bunch of new security features including iMessage Contact Key Verification, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, and Security Keys for Apple ID, and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud really hit the FBI. The new feature means that data stored in iCloud will be end-to-end encrypted, ensuring that only trusted devices can decrypt and read the data.
In other words, neither Apple nor anyone else will be able to access Apple’s servers and view data stored by users in iCloud.
This isn’t the first time the FBI has had dealings with Apple. About six years ago, the FBI confiscated an iPhone belonging to Syed Farook, one of the two perpetrators of a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. On December 2, 2015, the two murdered 14 people and injured 22 more.
The iPhone was locked, sparking a major battle between the FBI and Apple, who claimed they had no ability or desire to unlock the endpoint. The dispute even reached the US Congress, where almost all tech companies in the country sided with Apple. The whole thing died down when the FBI finally managed to unlock the device, with the help of a third party. The media later reported that the third party in question was the Israeli mobile forensics company, Cellebrite.
By: MacRumors (opens in a new tab)