Law enforcement also has an advantage when it comes to digital devices. Despite claims by Apple, Google and even the Department of Justice that smartphones are largely impenetrable, thousands of law enforcement agencies have tools that can infiltrate the latest phones to extract data.
“Police are facing a data explosion situation today,” said Yossi Carmil, CEO of Cellebrite, an Israeli company that has sold data mining tools to more than 5,000 law enforcement agencies. including hundreds of small police departments in the United States. State. “The solutions are there. There is no real challenge to accessing the data. ”
Police also have easier access to data stored in the cloud. Technology companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft regularly hand over a warrant to the authorities’ personal data, such as photos, emails, contacts and text messages, to the authorities.
Apple said the contents of tens of thousands of iCloud accounts were transferred to U.S. law enforcement in January 2013 to June 2020 in 13,371 cases.
And on Friday, Apple said that in 2018, they unknowingly transmitted the phone history of congressional staff, their families, and at least two members of Congress, including Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, now President of Congress. the House Intelligence Committee. The summons was part of an investigation by the Trump administration into leaks of classified information.
Yet intercepted communication remained a troublesome problem for the police. While criminals used to talk about channels that are relatively easy to tap into – such as phones, emails and basic text messages – most now use encrypted messengers, which are not.
Two of the world’s most popular messaging services, Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s WhatsApp, use so-called end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and recipient can see the messages. Not even the companies have access to their content, which allows Apple and Facebook to argue that they cannot hand it over to law enforcement.