Essential, important or very worrying: Apple’s data encryption divides

It won’t take long. Shortly after Apple announced that in the near future most iCloud data will be encrypted, law enforcement and privacy experts shared their feelings on the matter.

The laughing EFF…

The highly respected Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which defends fundamental rights on the web, published a press release praising the decision of the manufacturer of iPhone and Mac. “Encryption is one of the most important tools we have to keep our data private and secure.immediately indicates the association. We commend Apple for listening to experts, child protection activists, and users who want to protect their most sensitive data.” The EFF sees it as a victory after have long campaigned for the implementation of such a measure.

The New York collective Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, Inc. also applauds the decision. “essential and finally welcome” which will allow Apple to “align with privacy best practices, which many other companies have adopted for years”. Small black dot, the decision not to activate this encryption by default “will leave most users in a risky situation”. That said, even the leader of Signal congratulated “those who campaigned against abusive surveillance practices and paved the way”.

…and FBI complaining

On the other side of the spectrum, we look gloomy. In the wall street journalthe FBI said to be “very concerned about the risks posed by end-to-end encryption”. According to the federal agency, such practices “hinder the ability to protect the American people” against threats as varied as “cyberattacks and violence against children, drug trafficking, as well as organized crime and terrorism”.

These examples are not chosen at random, the FBI having often confronted Apple. As part of terrorism investigations in 2016 and 2020, law enforcement had asked the Cupertino company for help to access data stored on an iPhone.

The risk for the FBI is to see its investigations slowed down by the deployment of such data protection measures. So far, the domestic intelligence agency has always managed to get their hands on the requested data, but iCloud encryption may pose an additional difficulty.

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