FBI director James Comey’s testimony states that agency has been unable to access less than half of mobile devices this fiscal year

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Date: Friday, May 5th, 2017, 05:51
Category: iPhone, News, privacy, security, Software

Per FBI director James Comey’s testimony to a Senate oversight committee, the Bureau has been unable to access almost half of the mobile devices it tried to examine in the first half of the fiscal year.

Comey said the FBI had been unable to access the contents of more than 3,000 mobile devices in the first half of the fiscal year, using what he described as “appropriate and available technical tools, even though there was the legal authority to do so.” He said that represented “nearly half” of all the mobile devices it had attempted to access in that time frame.

Comey’s statements seem to be leading towards support of forcing phone manufacturers to provide backdoor access to the authorities.

In his testimony, Comey offered the following comments:

I could imagine a world that ends up with legislation saying that if you’re going to make devices in the U.S. you figure out how to comply with court orders. Or maybe we don’t go there. But we are having productive conversations right now I think.

Comey also offered the following:

We all love privacy, we all care about public safety and none of us want backdoors — we don’t want access to devices built in in some way. What we want to work with the manufacturers on is to figure out how can we accommodate both interests in a sensible way.

Apple has stated that this would be impossible.

For more than a year now, Apple and the FBI have argued as to backdoor access to its devices, especially after an iPhone was used by one of the San Bernadino shooters and the FBI demanded Apple’s assistance in accessing its data. The FBI eventually backed down after gaining access to the phone without Apple’s assistance. Nothing of interest was found.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via 9to5Mac and TechCrunch

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