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Apple Creates Dedicated Team to Help Train Law Enforcement Officials

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Apple will soon make it easier for law enforcement officials to obtain some of its users’ data during investigations.

According to a new report from MacRumors, Apple plans on launching a team dedicated to training law enforcement officials on digital forensics with the intent of alleviating challenges faced by inexperienced criminal investigators dealing with large amounts of data:

We believe that law enforcement agencies play a critical role in keeping our society safe and we’ve always maintained that if we have information we will make it available when presented with valid legal process. In recognizing the ongoing digital evidence needs of law enforcement agencies, we have a team of dedicated professionals within our legal department who manage and respond to all legal requests received from law enforcement agencies globally. Our team also responds to emergency requests globally on a 24/7 basis. 

Apple, who announced its plans in a letter, is directly addressing a report issued by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on cybersecurity and the needs of various law enforcement agencies.

We believe that law enforcement agencies play a critical role in keeping our society safe and we’ve always maintained that if we have information we will make it available when presented with valid legal process. In recognizing the ongoing digital evidence needs of law enforcement agencies, we have a team of dedicated professionals within our legal department who manage and respond to all legal requests received from law enforcement agencies globally. Our team also responds to emergency requests globally on a 24/7 basis.

We publish legal process guidelines for government and law enforcement agencies globally and we publish transparency reports twice a year detailing the types of requests we receive and how we respond. In addition, we regularly provide training to law enforcement officers on the types of data available from Apple and how to obtain it consistent with our legal process guidelines.

To meet the various challenges law enforcement officials face in the modern tech age, Apple is updating its law enforcement training program by creating a new online training module for officials similar to that of the company’s current in-person training.

By the end of 2018 we will begin the launch of an online portal for authenticated law enforcement officers globally to submit lawful requests for data, track requests, and obtain responsive data from Apple.

We are building a team of professionals dedicated to training law enforcement officers globally, which will significantly increase our ability to reach smaller police forces and agencies. This will include the development of an online training module for officers. This will assist Apple in training a larger number of law enforcement agencies and officers globally, and ensure that our company’s information and guidance can be updated to reflect the rapidly changing data landscape.

Apple is committed to protecting the security and privacy of our users. The above developments and the work we do to assist investigations uphold this fundamental commitment.

The company is also working on a portal, set to be operational by the end of 2018, where law enforcement officials can submit and track requests for data.

Apple has received widespread criticism in the past for its stalwart stance of not providing law enforcement officials backdoor access to its devices. Apple implements end-to-end encryption to safeguard messages sent between iPhone via iMessage, among other security features.

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