Feds Can't Crack Apple's iMessage Encryption for Investigation Purposes
April 4, 2013 10:46 AM
comment(s) - last by
The FBI is looking to amend a 1994 law so that it includes Internet companies
U.S. government agencies are upset that they can't spy on suspects' who are using
Apple's iMessage service
According to government agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), messages sent between iPhone users with the iMessage chat service are "impossible" to access because of iMessage's heavy encryption.
managed to get its hands on a DEA document, which describes a criminal investigation from February of this year. The document said that "it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices" because of the encryption -- even with a federal court order.
Apple's iMessage chat service works a lot like a text message, but is transmitted through the internet rather than SMS messages by wireless carriers. It's an encrypted chat program that has become wildly successful. Apple CEO Tim Cook said 300 billion iMessages had been exchanged as of fall 2012.
However, the DEA and FBI are having troubles keeping an eye on suspects who use the chat service. For instance, in a case where the DEA drafted a request for a court order to carry out electronic surveillance under Title III of the Federal Wiretap Act, it found that text messages from Verizon Wireless were incomplete because the suspect was an iMessage user.
"There is a growing and dangerous gap between law enforcement's legal authority to conduct electronic surveillance, and its actual ability to conduct such surveillance," said FBI director Robert Mueller. "We must ensure that the laws by which we operate and which provide protection to individual privacy rights keep pace with new threats and new technology."
The FBI is pushing for legislation on the topic, but even if that doesn't go through, government agencies can employ other methods -- such as obtain a warrant allowing them to go into someone's house/office, install keystroke-logging software and record passphrases. They can also send malware to take control of the suspect's device.
One year ago today, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Navy had launched a new research initiative to explore ways of allowing the government to hack into gaming consoles like the
, Wii, or PlayStation 3 to obtain information on gamers.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/4/2013 1:19:25 PM
You all got snookered. This article is an infomercial to sell more iphones. Excuse me for a sec, I'm getting a firmware update on my iphone as I type. Ah shoot my Imessages can now be intercepted and decrypted.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
"Googorola" Aims to Ban Most Apple Products, Accusing iMessage Infringes
September 21, 2012, 7:33 AM
Report: 250GB Xbox 360 Console/Kinect Bundle Dropping to $300
May 31, 2011, 10:06 AM
Retiree Sues Apple For $7,500 for Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His iPhone
November 30, 2015, 10:23 AM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 Will Receive Android Marshmallow in Q1 2016
November 16, 2015, 9:58 AM
Lenovo Whoa: Motorola Droid MAXX 2 and Turbo 2 Break Cover in Leaks
October 26, 2015, 3:12 PM
Leak: Apple Preps for First Real Android App Foray With New Apple Music App
October 24, 2015, 1:59 PM
Pepsi Smartphone? Empty Calories Coming Soon to the Midrange
October 12, 2015, 11:41 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information