Apple iPhone Decryption Backlog Stymies Police

A posting  from InfromationWeek in there Security section:  pple is overwhelmed by requests from law enforcement agencies to decrypt seized iPhones, and its waiting list is so long that it may take months before new requests get handled.

That revelation, first reported by CNET, was gleaned from a search warrant affidavit for a seized iPhone last summer by a federal agent who was investigating a Kentucky man on crack cocaine distribution charges.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent, Rob Maynard, said in court documents that he’d “attempted to locate a local, state or federal law enforcement agency with the forensic capabilities to unlock” an iPhone 4S seized during the investigation, but every contacted law enforcement agency said that it “did not have the forensic capability.” Apple, meanwhile, told him that the wait time for recovering data from an iPhone — which the technology firm copied to a USB key then provided to investigators — was approximately seven weeks, though Maynard ultimately had to wait about four months.

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