New iPhones cant be unlocked tells Apple to a federal Judge

Apple told a U.S. federal judge that accessing data stored on a locked iPhone would be “impossible” with devices using its latest operating system, but the company has the “technical ability” to help law enforcement unlock older phones.

Apple’s iOS 8 and above offer end to end encryption to the smartphone buyers. The data stored on iPhones running on iOS 8 and above is therefore impossible to be unlocked without the owner’s knowledge. The law enforcement agencies in United States however feel otherwise. They have filed a suit against Apple to make the data stored on iPhones available to them through the US department of justice.

Apple made this submission in a brief filed on Monday, after a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York, sought its input as he weighed a U.S. Justice Department request to force the company to help authorities access a seized iPhone.

In the submission before the court, Apple said that for the 90 percent of its devices running iOS 8 or higher, granting the Justice Department’s request “would be impossible to perform” after it┬ástrengthened encryption methods. It also said that the devices running on iOS 8 and above contain a feature which prevents anyone from accessing the data without the device’s passcode, including Apple itself.

The feature was adopted in 2014 amid heightened privacy concerns following leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about NSA surveillance programs.

Apple, however, told U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein it could access the 10 percent of its devices that continue to use older systems, including the one at issue in the case. But it urged the judge to not require it to comply with the Justice Department’s request.

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