Responding to a question during a Rajya Sabha session, Indian telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the strong encryption measures being employed by Apple and other smartphone makers to secure and protect the data stored in smartphones is posing a challenge to law enforcement agencies.
The minister noted that the Indian government has been following the tussle between the FBI and Apple on unlocking the iPhone 5c of one of the San Bernardino’s shooter.
“Smartphones including phones by Apple employ strong encryption to secure the data stored and to protect the communication. Such Encryption technologies pose challenges to Law Enforcement Agencies throughout the world including India,”telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Prasad further added that the government regularly holds meeting with stakeholders to address and implement solutions that will allow them to bypass the encryption technology used in smartphones. Interestingly, he revealed that as a part of this program, “a tool for Mobile forensics has been developed, which handles smartphones including Apple phones.” He did not provide any other information about this tool, so it remains unclear if this tool is already able to unlock iPhones or that it will be able to do so in the future. It also remains unclear if this tool works across all variants of the iPhone or only on those that are running an older version of iOS and lack Touch ID.
On the positive side, Prasad denied working with the government to force companies to introduce a backdoor in their encryption program for easier access to the law enforcement agencies.[Via ET Tech]