Scotland Yard finds way around iPhone Encryption
Scotland Yard – Metropolitan Police
In a whole new twist, it appears that Scotland Yard agents have discovered a way around that pesky iPhone encryption.
Admittedly, I believe the solution to be rather creative…and it’s actually legal…for now.
Here in the US, the FBI and many law enforcement agencies across the nation face a backlog of unattainable evidence that is locked in encrypted devices.
Unfortunately, in most cases they have not been granted permission to have a backdoor created so as to get to the evidence, so in many cases our law enforcement is left empty handed.
But Scotland Yard managed to find a pretty creative way around the issue of encryption.
As it turns out, the agents arranged a little pre-arrest mugging so that they could obtain the suspects iPhone while it was unlocked, as opposed to confiscating it after an arrest, when it would be locked of course.
The idea is to grab the phone right out of the suspects hands while he or she is using it, during a staged mugging. Sort of like what happened when agents swooped in on the creator of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht.
With Ross it was get him before he closed his laptop. Either way, the solution to iPhone’s encryption is pretty creative to say the least.
Technically speaking of course it is in all reality, committing a crime to fight crime. Which could be argued in courts.
In the US we have this Supreme Court rule (the Riley Decision), that says that law enforcement cannot search phones without a warrant but the decision is often interpreted different ways by different courts.
One court found that simply opening a flip phone without a warrant violated the decision so most law enforcement agencies play it by the book the best that they can which means they don’t try to mess with the device until the paperwork to do so clears.
And, as you might guess that can take so much time that it becomes hardly worth the wait, let alone money it costs to get the backdoor created, and the time, then the effort.
The ruling however, does not specifically cover situations where, let’s say the suspect might be mugged and the mugger is then caught using the device.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say, that I doubt any US law enforcement agencies here will attempt doing this.
The way our legal system works whatever they get off the device would most likely end up as inadmissible in courts across the nation.
Still, kudos to Scotland Yard for finding such a novel way around encryption.
Cristal M Clark