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Encryption is a double-edged sword, while it protects the privacy of users, but it pushes companies to confront with the authorities, and Apple here surrendered. Sources reported that Apple abandoned its plan to provide full encryption for backups uploaded by users on iCloud, after the FBI complained that the move would hinder investigations.
US President Donald Trump has publicly criticized Apple via his Twitter account when she refused to help unlock the iPhone’s phone lock in a national security case.
US Senators have threatened to impose new legislation to counter end-to-end encryption as it helps to conceal evidence against crimes against children.
In fact, Apple responds to official requests to provide user-related data, and discloses this in its transparency reports. But it does not reveal any personal data about the owners of these phones.
This case reminds us of what happened two years ago when Apple informed the FBI about its plan to provide end-to-end encryption to users while storing their data on the iCloud cloud. But today Apple has abandoned these plans to make the user data susceptible to being viewed by the FBI if it so desires.
Apple did not want to be criticized by government officials for protecting “criminals”, the sources said, but this was already the case by the American president himself. Nor did she want to be sued to prevent access to user data that was previously accessible.
Apple had been hit by a FBI case in 2016 about a lack of cooperation to unlock an iPhone shooter in the popular San Bernardino accident.
Now the task has become easier for the FBI, which relies on external companies – some Israeli – to penetrate iPhones and then access backup copies of its data, messages and conversations.
It is reported that during the first half of last year alone, the American authorities requested to obtain backup copies of more than 6000 Apple accounts, and the company responded with 90% of the requests.