FBI director lashes out at Apple and Google for encrypting smartphones

Posted by K R on

The companies responsible for powering nearly 95 percent of the smart phones in the United States say they’re embracing encryption for the sake of their customers’ privacy, and that’s concerning to the head of the FBI. On Thursday this week, FBI Director James Comey attacked recent reports regarding both Apple and Google’s efforts to provide customers of their respective operating systems with the ability to secure data with encryption unlike anything previously available for mainstream mobile devices: Apple claims that even its own Palo Alto, California engineers can’t crack into locked phones running the iOS 8 platform released this month, and Google says its new Android devices will offer data encryption by default. Speaking to reporters during a briefing in Washington on Thursday, Comey outright complained about the companies’ announcements and insisted that their efforts will severely hinder law enforcement operations. "There will come a day -- well it comes every day in this business -- when it will matter a great, great deal to the lives of people of all kinds that we be able to with judicial authorization gain access to a kidnapper's or a terrorist or a criminal's device,” the Huffington Post quoted Comey as saying. “I just want to make sure we have a good conversation in this country before that day comes.” “I'd hate to have people look at me and say, 'Well how come you can't save this kid,' 'how come you can't do this thing,’” he added. Unfortunately for the Obama-appointed head of the FBI, however, that day may have already come and gone, at least with respect to Apple. Upon release of the company’s latest operating system last week, Apple said in a statement that “personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode,” adding, “Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data.” “So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8,” Apple said. via RT USA.

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