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Justice Department Wants Apple’s iMessage Chats
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iPhone iMessages

Summary: The Justice Department is hitting roadblocks from the leading tech companies as they pursue access to private information between suspects.

The Justice Department has sought a court order against Apple for access to their iMessage communications between suspects that use an iPhone. Apple has one slight issue with this request; they can’t.


The iMessage system is encrypted so they can’t turn over those text messages in real time like the DOJ wants. Tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are using even tougher encryptions in order to protect their consumer’s information.

The DOJ is stuck in a tough spot. Criminals know that the iPhone’s iMessage system is encrypted so much so that law enforcement agencies can’t look at them. In order to properly catch some of these criminals, they need access to the information in those messages but there is no way to get them yet.

Apple has handed over messages to the DOJ that were uploaded to iCloud, where messages are no longer encrypted. The only way for the DOJ to gain access to the encrypted messages is by requiring security back doors, which are highly opposed by civil liberty advocates and experts.

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The encryption used by Apple is an end-to-end encryption system that is done by the phones at each end of the conversation. This means that Apple does not have any copies of the messages sent. The DOJ wants the companies that use this kind of encryption to be forced to comply with rules similar to the wiretap ones that phone companies follow.




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