Apple’s iMessage impossible for police to intercept

If you are under the same impression as me, I have been told by various officers in the field and tech gurus alike that the iPhone does not have a secure encryption like the Blackberry does and this is why police agencies in Canada recommend the latter for use in the field as the preferred issued cell phone.

CNET has just published a report based on an internal USA Drug Enforcement Administration document that messages sent with Apple’s encrypted chat service are “impossible to intercept,” even with a warrant.  The DEA was conducting a criminal investigation and warned that because of the use of encryption, “it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices”.

The DEA’s warning, marked “law enforcement sensitive,” was the most detailed example to date of the technological obstacles — FBI director Robert Mueller has called it the “Going Dark” problem — that police face when attempting to conduct court-authorized surveillance on non-traditional forms of communication.  The DEA says that “iMessages between two Apple devices are considered encrypted communication and cannot be intercepted, regardless of the cell phone service provider.” But, if the messages are exchanged between an Apple device and a non-Apple device, the agency says, they “can sometimes be intercepted, depending on where the intercept is placed.”

For further reading: sage-encryption-trips-up-feds-surveillance/

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