The Intercept’s Jenna McLaughlin looks at the many things wrong with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr’s anti-encryption op-ed in the New York Times (emphasis added):
It’s true that when law enforcement asks for information that is encrypted with the user’s passcode, Apple and Google cannot actually deliver it. But that’s typically not the whole story.
For one: Apple, for instance, copies a lot of that data onto its own cloud servers during Wi-Fi backups, where the company can in fact access it and turn it over to law enforcement.
Plenty of other data is still available from the phone companies: SMS text messages, phone numbers called and phone calls received, and location information.
And then there’s the ability to break in. Responding to Tuesday’s op-ed, ACLU technologist Christopher Soghoian tweeted: “If law enforcement can’t hack the hundreds of millions of Android phones running out-of-date, vulnerable software, they’re not trying.”
Following the rollout of iOS 8, Lee Reiber, a cell phone forensics expert at AccessData, told Mashable that “As secure as the device can be, there’s always going to be some vulnerability that can be located and exploited.” Reiber said it’s “cat and mouse.”