Trump ramps up pressure on Apple company on iPhone backdoors

US President Donald Trump has stepped up the pressure on US technology giant Apple in the dispute over access for investigative authorities. Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening (local time) that his administration helps Apple on trade issues "all the time".


Yet the company refuses to allow authorities access to encrypted phones "used by murderers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements." Trump's demand to the company's leaders: "You must rise to the challenge now and help our great country!"

Earlier, Apple rejected criticism from US Attorney General William Barr in the resurgent dispute. Barr had said on Monday that Apple had provided "no substantial assistance" in solving the attack by a Saudi officer at a naval air base in Florida in December. He is urging the company to hack out the password protection of two of the assassin's iPhones. Apple categorically refuses to open such and other backdoors for law enforcement to gain access to potentially investigative data. The company argues that this would worsen data security for all users.


Apple Group provided information

Barr classified the attack, which killed three U.S. soldiers, as a terrorist attack, increasing pressure on Apple. "It's very important to know who the shooter was communicating with and about before he died," the US secretary said.

Apple responded that it had provided "a broad range of information" within hours of the first FBI request on December 6. In the days that followed, Apple provided backups stored in its iCloud storage service and communications data on several accounts, among other things. While an encrypted iPhone can only be accessed with a passcode, the key for iPhone backups stored in the cloud is also stored there. This allows them to be decrypted for authorities. Particularly sensitive information such as health data, passwords or payment data is also encrypted end-to-end in the cloud and is thus only accessible to the users.

Apple stressed that it was not until a month later, on January 6, that it was informed by the FBI of the existence of a second iPhone. The assassin had fired into one of the devices.(SDA)

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