FBI Concerned With New Default Encryption Settings in iOS and Android Devices

The FBI has been in talks with Apple and Google about the way the technology companies are marketing the privacy features in their smartphones, according to FBI Director James Comey (via The Huffington Post). Comey says that he is concerned that the two companies are "marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law."

Comey's remarks come following both privacy changes introduced with iOS 8 and a new privacy site that Apple introduced last week, explaining that the company has altered the way encryption works in iOS 8. Apple no longer stores the encryption keys for devices in iOS 8, making it impossible for it to unlock content on devices under police request.

userprivacy
"Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access your data," reads its new privacy site. "So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."

Shortly after Apple announced the encryption changes to iOS 8, Google announced that the next generation of Android, set to be released next month, will also encrypt data by default, providing the same encryption protections to its smartphones that a passcode provides to iPhones.

According to Comey, though he understands the need for privacy, he believes government access to electronic devices is necessary in some cases.

"I like and believe very much that we should have to obtain a warrant from an independent judge to be able to take the content of anyone's closet or their smart phone," he said. "The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened -- even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order -- to me does not make any sense."

He goes on to say that one day, it may matter "a great, great deal" that the government be able to infiltrate "a kidnapper's or a terrorist or a criminal's device." His goal, he says, is to have a "good conversation" in the country "before that day comes."

The exact nature of the talks between FBI officials and Apple and Google remains unknown, with Comey only stating that the discussion has been over the "marketing of their devices."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
78 months ago
Comey doesn't get it.

If he supports the 4th Amendment (like he says he does), then he needs to get a warrant and serve it to the suspect, to have their device unlocked. Apple is not the suspect in any investigation like he describes.

It sounds like he is complaining because the usual circumventions they had to get around the 4th Amendment are no longer available.. as it should be.

BL.
Score: 87 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
78 months ago

i have nothing to hide...

people like you ruin it for everyone else
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
78 months ago
yep, lets throw away everyones privacy to catch a thief. makes sense
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
78 months ago
I hate how authorities view the desire for privacy as the same as desire to cover up a crime. There are plenty of reasons to want to keep legal activities private other than committing a crime.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
78 months ago
I'm glad our data is encrypted. **** the NSA
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
78 months ago
It seems to me that it would be perfectly fair for the FBI to get a warrant requiring a suspect to unlock their phone so that it can be searched much the same way their house is. The FBI doesn't go to the bank that owns your house when they want to search it and likewise shouldn't go to apple to get my data. Serve me a warrant saying I have to give it to you or I go to jail. That's how lawful search and seizure works. Deal with it FBI.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Top Stories: Apple Event Recap, Apple Watch Series 6, Redesigned iPad Air, and More

Saturday September 19, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week's news was obviously dominated by Apple's media event and the launch of iOS 14, but there was a lot to digest, so check out our summary below for the high-level view of the past week. With the exception of the massively redesigned iPad Air, all of the new hardware introduced this week is starting to appear on store shelves and on customers' doorsteps, while all of the new software...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...