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Apple Refuses Justice Department Request For User Data

Apple's iMessage messaging system is highly encrypted, and it seems that law enforcement might not be too happy about that. In an ongoing investigation involving drugs and guns, the Justice Department has ordered Apple to turn over messages from a number of users.

Apple, however, has replied by simply saying that those messages were encrypted and that it could not comply with the request.

This kind of standoff between tech companies and government has been expected as tech firms begin to embrace much stricter encryption that even the company itself cannot break. This particular case follows a number of other similar ones and is prompting government officials to advocate taking Apple to court.

While it seems as though law enforcement probably will not be taking Apple to court in the near future, there is another battle brewing with Microsoft. The case is currently in an appeals court and started when Microsoft refused to comply with a warrant in 2013 asking for emails related to a drug trafficking case. According to Microsoft, officials would need an order from Irish courts for the emails because the servers with the emails were located in Ireland.

The increased resistance by tech companies to government requests such as this come as there is increased concern about user privacy. This privacy concern began for many with the Edward Snowden revelations around NSA spying.

Some justice officials, however, are frustrated at the fact that the White House has not been very outspoken against the tech companies that seem to be winning in privacy battles. Those on the other side, however, suggest that cases like this may end up opening the door for government officials to continue breaching the privacy of the public.

A battle with Apple is still an option, however, it would be a long-shot. Some suggest that a legal battle would make it much harder for tech companies to compromise, which is something that they have expressed private interest in.

Via: The New York Times

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