As you might have heard, both the tech gaints Apple and Google have revealed that they will enable encryption by default on mobile devices. That means neither company will know your phone’s passcode which also means that if the feds come knocking on Apple or Google’s door, they will not be able to provide them data about you.
Users might have praised the companies for efforts to encrypt their latest devices by default that would prevent law enforcement agencies’ hands on users’ private data, but the FBI is not at all happy with Apple and Google right now.
FBI Director James Comey has complained that Apple and Google’s use of stronger encryption in smartphones and tablets makes it impossible for cops and g-men to collar criminals.
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,” he apparently told a press conference.
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.’
The move is in the response to the revelations of mass surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA), revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden, that triggered a large-scale movement worldwide towards deploying encryption across all the Digital Services.
While Apple with the release of iOS 8 earlier this month, allowed iPhone and iPad users to encrypt most personal data with a password. Also last week, the company introduced enhanced encryption for iOS 8 devices under which it will no longer store the encryption keys for devices in iOS 8, making it impossible for the company to decrypt a locked device, even on law enforcement request.
Google’s announcement for by default encryption comes a day after Apple revealed that it is expanding its two-factor authentication process to include the iCloud storage system, which was recently targeted by hackers to extract over 100 nude celebrities photos.
I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is above the law,” Comey moaned today.
What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”
Comey said the FBI was in discussions with Apple and Google about their crypto implementations, but didn’t give any details as to what Cupertino and Mountain View’s response was. It’s clear he’s not happy that the Feds can no longer get direct access to the handsets via Apple or Google, although data in iCloud is still up for grabs.
Despite criticism from the FBI, it’s improbable that Apple or Google is going to step back from their efforts, because the technology companies again will not compromise with their reputation in the market where many are criticised in past to put backdoors in their products for law enforcement agencies.