Sunday, October 5, 2014

Apple and Google Criticized Over Encrypted Smartphones

Apple and Google’s policy to encrypt their smartphones will be making the rescuing of kidnapping victims as well as foil the terror plots difficult, according to US with the FBI warning them of their decision which would not be helpful in kidnapping cases and terror plots. James Comey, FBI Director, criticized Apple and Google recently for developing smartphone encryption so secure, that it has become difficult for police to access easily on information stored on the devices even in times of search warrants.

The ability to search photos, messages as well as Web history on smartphones would help in solving various serious crimes right from murder to child pornography to attempted terrorist attacks. He also commented that someday it would matter a great deal to people and help them tremendously when they would be able to gain access to such devices when faced with these situations.

Comey further added that the FBI officials had already contacted the two companies who had announced their new smartphones encryption initiatives the previous week. His comment was that `he could not understand why companies marketed something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law’.

New Encryption System of Privacy Concern

Comey remarked that Apple’s latest entry of mobile operating system, iOS 8 had been so thoroughly encrypted that it had been impossible to unlock iPhone or iPads for police while Google has been moving to an automatic type of encryption for its latest version of the Android operating system which has also been unable to unlock though it would be taking longer for the updated feature to reach its users.

The two tech giants have now decided to add new encryption systems of privacy concerns which have been sparked out by Edwards Snowden’s revelation of mass government surveillance.With Google and Apple, criticized for handing over reams of customer data over to the National Security Agency – NSA, they are now offering encryption software as a form of default on smartphones stating that it would now be impossible to comply with US government searches.

Quick Access to Phone Data – Save Lives in Emergency

Apple comments were that it was not technically feasible for them to respond to government warrants for the purpose of extraction of data from devices, the announcement of which has disturbed the American law enforcement with Comey adding his criticism to the issue.

He cited two examples of situations where the quick access by authorities to phone data could save lives in emergency. He also informed reporters at FBI headquarters that the officials of US were in talks with the giant tech companies, accusing them of placing people in a position where they would be beyond the reach of law.

Law enforcement does have the capabilities of intercepting telephone conversation if they have a wiretap warrant from court, however the new encryption system would block any access to call data, photos, contacts and even emails that may have been stored on the phone.

The former assistant director of FBI Criminal Investigative Division, Ronald Hosko, stated that the encryption would be protecting thousands of criminals who intend to do great harm, to people, both physically and financially.

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