FBI director reveals that 6,900 devices have yet to be unlocked/decrypted

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Date: Tuesday, October 24th, 2017, 05:18
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, News, security

If you were looking to live in an era of digital privacy, it may have just arrived.

According to a statement shared by FBI Director Christopher Wray at the International Association of Chiefs of Police on Sunday, the FBI has been unable to retrieve data from 6,900 mobile devices that it attempted to access over the course of the last 11 months.

“To put it mildly, this is a huge, huge problem,” Wray said. “It impacts investigations across the board — narcotics, human trafficking, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, gangs, organized crime, child exploitation.”


Wray did not specify what percentage of the inaccessible devices were run on Apple’s iOS operating system, but encryption has been an issue between Apple and the FBI since last year when the two clashed over the unlocking of an iPhone 5c owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino.

In the following months, the FBI took Apple to court in an effort to push Apple towards creating a version of iOS that would disable passcode security features and allow passcodes to be entered electronically.

Apple, in turn, refused and fought the court order, claiming the FBI’s request could set a “dangerous precedent” with serious implications for the future of smartphone encryption. Apple ultimately did not capitulate and the FBI enlisted Israeli firm Cellebrite to crack the device.

Since the incident, the debate has continued between the balance for privacy and law enforcement’s access to information with no set standard or resolution emerging.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via MacRumors and the Associated Press

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