Law enforcement officials have made some outlandish claims about Apple’s iOS device encryption, but Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. may have taken the top prize.
Vance, appearing on Sunday’s “The Cats Roundtable” show on WNYM/970 AM, claimed Apple’s encrypted software will make it the number one device among terrorists.
“Apple has created a phone that is dark, that cannot be accessed by law enforcement even when a court has authorized us to look at its contents, that’s going to be the terrorists’ communication device of choice.”
Vance has a history of anti-encryption hyperbole, but Sunday’s comments may be the most inflammatory yet.
Vance isn’t the first, and likely won’t be the last government official to scream “the terrorists will win!” if Apple’s iOS encryption remains in place. A Department of Justice official was quoted in November 2014 as saying that Apple’s encrypted devices could someday be responsible for the death of a child.
Apple’s increased encryption and security on its iOS devices came as a result of the public furor in 2013 when it was revealed that government agencies, including the NSA, had obtained backdoor access to iOS devices, and were using it to spy on users.
Apple’s move was to improve the encryption on their devices via updates to iOS, and even creating a website detailing its commitment to privacy.
Apple first began encrypting the data on its iOS devices with the debut of iOS 7. Google soon announced they would offer full-disk encryption on its devices, but has yet to widely introduce the feature.