We’ve all heard the stories. The police pick someone up because they suspect the person was involved in some kind of nefarious activity. They set about trying to prove it despite a lack of evidence, when suddenly one of them gets a bright idea and decides to check the person’s smartphone. Sure enough, the phone contains incriminating phone calls, emails, and even pictures showing the suspect with accomplices and detailing the crime in question. Case closed, and the cops barely had to lift a finger.
Well, those days may be coming to a close if Apple and Google have their say. How so? Because encryption on iOS8 and a new version of Android that Google is working on is so secure that not even Google or Apple can unlock the devices for the police.
Law enforcement officials are so upset about this that FBI director James Comey recently spoke out against the increased encryption and criticized the companies responsible for it. But while Comey might have a point where national security is concerned, this is one area where agencies of the law largely have themselves to blame.
Increased Encryption a Direct Response to Warrantless Surveillance
People don’t like the idea of a faceless government agency recording their every move, so when the scandal about mass warrantless surveillance of regular citizens broke a few years ago, there was a huge outcry. Apple and Google have chosen to answer this outcry by providing their customers with better, more secure encryption on their products. You can read more about the change on DallasNews.com.
Law enforcement officials may not be happy about this change, because it will without a doubt make their jobs more difficult, but for the most part, all it does is take things back to where they were before Apple released the iPhone in 2007. Laptops and PCs have had strong encryption available for years, but somehow the police have still found ways to stop and solve crimes. Railing against companies for providing a desired service to their customers isn’t the answer, because technology will eventually make better encryption a reality regardless. Police departments and others upholding the law simply have to evolve.
Are law enforcement officials trying to force you to give them access to your smartphone or other digital device that contains personal information? Don’t just cave in to demands – talk to an experienced Texas defense lawyer first to make sure your rights are being respected.