iOS 8 Encryption Tech Could Cause a Child’s Death, Says DOJ

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Ever since Apple announced that it didn’t have a backdoor to decipher information encrypted on iPhones, law-enforcement officials have been taking every opportunity to emphasize that the company is heading in the wrong direction. In the latest worst-case scenario thrown in during an hour-long discussion with Justice Department officials and Apple representatives, a child would die because police wouldn’t be able to look into the suspect’s phone.

Mr. Cole offered the Apple team a gruesome prediction: At some future date, a child will die, and police will say they would have been able to rescue the child, or capture the killer, if only they could have looked inside a certain phone.

His statements reflected concern within the FBI that a careful criminal can shield much activity from police surveillance by minimizing use of cellphone towers and not backing up data.

Apple’s position, however, remains unchanged. Its representatives thought the dead-child scenario was inflammatory, and informed the Justice Department officials that they can obtain the same information from telecom companies, backup computers, and other phones if needed, people attending the meeting told the WSJ.

Fact is, Apple isn’t the only tech company resisting government requests for cooperation and beefing up their use of encryption. WhatsApp, for example, now encrypts text sent from one Android phone to another; Google also encrypts data; and apparently telecom companies such as AT&T are challenging the legal framework investigators use to collect call logs and location info about suspects.

During the meeting between Apple and Justice Department representatives, Apple’s counsel Bruce Sewell said the company is marketing products to customers, not criminals. If the government wants more information from Apple, it should change the law to require all companies that handle communications to provide a means for law enforcement agencies to access communications.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • einsteinbqat

    Yes! And the government of the USA let children and innocent people die because it fails to restrict access to guns. And they do not need data from any devices or decrypt anything to see that. Chances of a child dying to a gun in the USA is WAY higher than that of an encrypted device.

  • Chrome262

    It’s not just DOJ, its the same here, they want more access and are complaining to Apple and Google for the lack of what they call cooperation. The truth is that once companies get involved in giving unrestricted access to governments to their data, then no one is safe. and this all assumes that law enforcement in any country has the ability to even use the data correctly. Its one thing to for highly trained investigators to use said information, can you imagine local cops with that access, scary.

  • Tim

    it’s just fear-mongering. a child’s death can be caused by anything, creepy old man, parents, siblings, other children, the list goes on and on.

  • Shier

    Don’t forget, once you create any sort of back door, it’s not just law enforcement that’ll have access to it.

  • Chrome262

    Help the puppies and bunnies from dying Apple!!!!

  • Z S

    This is fearmongering and lying, plain and simple. They’re not even being subtle about it anymore. Government wants to be able to spy on everyone remotely whenever they please.

    Thank you, Apple, for trying to secure our privacy.

  • Tim

    oh ffs! And maybe a child or an old lady will live because someone DIDN’T have access to encrypted data. What a bunch of intimidating BS.

  • artikas

    All i can say is “Thank you Apple!”

  • xxxJDxxx

    Child safety. Always the last resort in manipulating peoples emotions to scare them into submission.

  • einsteinbqat

    Indeed

  • Jezzah

    I’m quite comfortable sacrificing the life of a child if it means protecting the privacy of iOS users the world over.

    The risk of the NSA exploiting a backdoor is too great.

  • FragilityG4

    This is the definition of Fear Mongering.