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DEA complains it cannot intercept iMessages

Saturday, November 12, 2016 16:49
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We’ve all generally come to accept the fact that, in using iMessage, our correspondence runs the very real risk of being eternally damned to the iCloud ether. But at least now, we know we’re not suffering alone; a document obtained by CNET has revealed that the DEA has also been whining about their inability to access iMessages—but their problem is encryption.
The intelligence note, titled “Apple’s iMessages: A Challenge For DEA Intercept,” warns that it’s “impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices,” even with a warrant, because of its secure end-to-end encryption. The DEA is only thwarted, however, when the messages are encrypted by Apple, so normal SMS text messaging is still fair game.
They first discovered their little iMessage problem while attempting to perform electronic surveillance back in October 2011, and it “became apparent that not all text messages were being captured.” It turned out, of course, that their target was an iMessage enthusiast.
Apple asserts that the service was in no way designed to be government-proof. But Christopher Soghoian, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, admits that “the government would need to perform an active man-in-the-middle attack.” So the next time you start bemoaning the plague that is Apple’s slow, glitchy, and wildly popular messaging service, you can at least be thankful that it’s an equal opportunity tormenter, whatever the nature of that torment may be. [CNET]




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