Surprise! Cops Can Already Crack iPhones…. So Why Are The Feds In Need Of Apple’s Help?

It appears that contrary to what US President Donald Trump and US Attorney General William Barr say, many police departments across the United States already have the ability to crack mobile devices, including the iPhone. And they have been doing so successfully:

Over the past three months, OneZero sent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to over 50 major police departments, sheriffs, and prosecutors around the country asking for information about their use of phone-cracking technology. Hundreds of documents from these agencies reveal that law enforcement in at least 11 states spent over $4 million in the last decade on devices and software designed to get around passwords and access information stored on phones. OneZero obtained documents from law enforcement agencies in New York, California, Florida, Texas, Washington, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Mexico, and Massachusetts.

These agencies included district attorneys’ offices, local police departments, and county sheriffs’ offices. The number of offices with access to phone-cracking tools across the country is likely far greater than what OneZero uncovered. Not all agencies responded to OneZero‘s request for documents. Some departments and offices claimed the records were exempt from public release. Others told OneZero they would need several months and thousands of dollars to provide the information.

And what further backs up the fact that the arguments made by Trunp and Barr are totally bogus are the following two examples:

Law enforcement doesn’t need Apple’s help to crack iPhone. Thus the only reason that Trunp and Barr are making a stink about this is that they want backdoors in iOS (and likely other operating systems) so that data from smartphones can be obtained at any time for any reason. And it’s beyond crystal clear that this is the case. Hopefully when Apple CEO Tim Cook meets Trump at Davos this week, he can point out just how misguided this all is. And how stupid he looks by trying to push a narrative that is clearly false.

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