iMessage encryption will kill kids, DOJ warns

iMessage pccorzoThe U.S. Department of Justice has issued a chilling warning to Apple executives as a response to increased privacy protections added to iOS 8: Children might die because we can’t hack into bad guys’ iMessages.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole met with Apple executives last month, reports the Wall Street Journal, to discuss privacy issues, but after making the ridiculous claim that the blood of dead children will be on Apple’s hands if it doesn’t give the NSA access to iMessages, the talks have ended in a standoff.

“The No. 2 official at the Justice Department delivered a blunt message last month to Apple Inc. executives: New encryption technology that renders locked iPhones impervious to law enforcement would lead to tragedy. A child would die, he said, because police wouldn’t be able to scour a suspect’s phone, according to people who attended the meeting.”

The sensationalist claims come just a few weeks after the director of the FBI made similar accusations against Apple in a Washington Post column, saying iOS encryption would lead to deaths. The director’s iOS death-factory claims were eventually retracted by the paper, but the government’s venom toward Apple doesn’t appear to be lessening.

iMessages are now encrypted in iOS 8 and can’t be accessed without the users’ passcode, even with a court-issued warrant. Law enforcement officials are afraid they’ll be unable to catch terrorist and killers without the access. However, Apple executives reportedly told DOJ officials they could get the same information elsewhere, like from telecommunications networks, backup computers, or even others phones.

Of course getting that info from other sources will take a little more leg work from law enforcement. Police can still get the information they want off your iPhone, it’s just much harder. And who has time for that when you can spread inflammatory accusations about Apple killing children.

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