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Over 2,000 law enforcement agencies have iPhone encryption-breaking tools

Added 10-25-20 10:11:02am EST - “Law enforcement agencies across the United States have tools to access data stored on encrypted iPhones, a report claims, with at least 2,000 agencies in the country now having the means to gain access to further their criminal investigations.” - Appleinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Appleinsider.com: “Over 2,000 law enforcement agencies have iPhone encryption-breaking tools | AppleInsider”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Law enforcement agencies across the United States have tools to access data stored on encrypted iPhones, a report claims, with at least 2,000 agencies in the country now having the means to gain access to further their criminal investigations.

The long-running encryption debate has always centered around the idea that members of law enforcement were not able to acquire evidence from devices and services due to the use of encryption, necessitating requests for backdoors to be put in place. In a new report, it seems that the calls for backdoor access may not be needed at all.

According to a report by Washington nonprofit Upturn seen by the New York Times, it is claimed that at least 2,000 law enforcement agencies across all 50 states have tools to be able to access locked and encrypted smartphones. The information was determined by analyzing years of public records relating to the agencies and their investigations.

It is thought that at least 49 out of the 50 largest police departments in the United States have the tools to gain access, as well as a number of smaller towns and counties. For areas that do not own the tools, they often turn the smartphones over to state or federal crime labs that typically do have them.

These tools can take the form of GrayShift's GrayKey, a small device capable of unlocking secured iPhones. Federal law enforcement and local police departments have been buying the tool for a few years, paying tens of thousands of dollars for the hardware.

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