Apple has received increasing police demands asking the company to decrypt their iPhones. The decision was adopted after authorities in Kentucky had difficulties arresting a man for cocaine traffic due to his encrypted iPhone 4S.
The Cupertino, California company constantly receives requests from police departments across the United States asking them to decrypt their iPhones. The number of requests has grown in the past months after police officers in Kentucky were prevented from solving a case due to the iPhone 4S phone that the culprit was using.
According to police reports, the man in Kentucky was charged with supplying crack cocaine, but he constantly led officers into a wrong track by using his iPhone 4S. The smartphone could not be unlocked because it was encrypted; therefore, authorities want Apple to decrypt their iPhone 4S.
The iPhone maker has not obeyed yet the requests of the authorities, but is, nevertheless, willing to cooperate with police officers to make their job easier. The company announced that they have created a waiting list in order to better organize the requests they receive from police officers. This way, they can answer letters quickly without creating any confusions.
The Kentucky case is not the only time when authorities were encumbered by Apple’s smartphones, instead of being helped by them. A similar case took place in Nevada where agents told judges they cannot access a sized iPhone and iPad because they are encrypted. The Drug Enforcement Administration, too, could not access the iMessage chat service because the device was encrypted.
Despite Apple’s intention to cooperate with authorities, decrypting iPhones takes a long period of time. ATF agent Rob Maynard complained that he had to wait almost three months before he eventually found a law enforcement agency that could unlock an iPhone 4S. Joann Chang, one of Apple’s legal representatives, on the other hand, told him that decrypting an iPhone could take up to 7 weeks even if the phone is unlocked by the company itself because there are too many requests that need to be processed each day.