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Apple to No Longer Unlock Most Devices for Police

September 18, 2014  | 

Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information, reports the Washington Post.

The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

As the new operating system becomes widely deployed over the next several weeks, the number of iPhones and iPads that Apple is capable of breaking into for police will steadily dwindle to the point where only devices several years old — and incapable of running iOS 8 — can be unlocked by Apple.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

ftrnr @ 9/19/2014 3:00 AM

Awesome, now Apple products can be used for planning terrorism as we won't, even with a valid court order, be able to get information off of them. Also going to be a great way to hide child porn, pics kept as souvenirs of, Apple going full on to hurt the public that buys their products.

RDM @ 9/19/2014 4:39 AM

I have just bought the LAST Apple product. I will NOT be a part of supporting this type of corporate mentality.

CubsFan @ 9/19/2014 6:32 AM

As a detective, I've used info lawfully obtained from cell phones to crack everything from low level drug crimes to homicides. Clearly the geniuses at Apple have no concept how the real world operates.

TX Lawman @ 9/19/2014 6:39 AM

I guess a lot of Apple Executives will be sitting in jail for contempt if the judges have the guts to enforce the law. I don't use Apple; don't like their control over everything you do on them so I will stick with other Smart devices thank you.

kevCopAz @ 9/19/2014 6:53 AM

This is the corporate mentality? We in Law Enforcement should not work with their security when investigating crimes against them! The first thing that should be done, and immediately, is the congress pass a law requiring all such devices to have the ability for a court ordered search to be able to be completed by the company OR the compact is liable criminally and civilly. Simple. The government could also make such a requirement in order for the device to receive licensing and or a patton. Two can play at this game.

PS I really don't believe that APPLE as controlling as they are would do this anyway, if its even possible. Oh one more way to stop this just start to make laws that make it harder for any of the companies to produce products here, and start to clamp down on many parts of the inter net and TAX the internet. There ail be such crus from all companies and users that APPLE will change their corp. mind quickly.

Bob @ VA @ 9/19/2014 7:13 AM

This has been overhyped. There are still ways to get the data off of the Apple phones unencrypted, and the backup data on users' local computers or on the iCloud are still easily accessible. Besides, there are tools to break the encryption. The equipment and software isn't cheap, but it is available. Apple has simply provided a false sense of security to its users as well as an incentive for forensic IT analysis tool developers to improve their products.

Marshal Fine @ 9/19/2014 7:56 AM

...and just think how the child porn crowd will love this ! If we can still legally get in and capture the info.. all is well... If not... look out !!

Bill @ 9/30/2014 11:49 AM

Even though you fellas certainly have no love lost when it comes to Eric Holder, you do have one thing in common with him.

U.S. attorney general criticizes Apple, Google data encryption

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