Encryption on Apple smartphones poses challenge to law enforcement agencies, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

The strong encryption technology to secure data and communications in smartphones, particularly those manufactured by the US and China based companies, poses a significant challenge for law enforcement agencies. Government, on Friday clarified that they have developed a tool for mobile forensics to handle smartphones including Apple.

Commenting on a query in Rajya Sabha, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad revealed that smartphones manufactured by Apple employ very strong encryption to secure data stored on it and also to protect the communication. Prasad also said that such deep encryption techniques poses huge challenge for police, cyber cell teams and other law enforcement agencies.

He also revealed that the Government is keeping a close watch on the reported dispute between the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple.

Earlier, FBI has taken Apple to court to know the procedure to break the encrypted iPhone 5c. Even though Apple declined to offer any assistance and strongly objected, other technology giants like Google and Facebook came in support for Apple. According to Apple, unlocking the phone have gave implications on digital privacy and security.

Prasad said on Rajya Sabha that the Government regularly interacts with all stakeholders to address all potential issues associated with the security and privacy. Moreover, the R&D activity should be carried out on a continuous basis by upgrading tools and technologies to make them compatible with latest devices.

Prasad, meanwhile, denied any proposal to introduce backdoor or a special key to combat smartphone encryption.

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Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com