NEW DELHI: Acknowledging strong encryption technology to secure data and communications in smart phones, including Apple is a challenge for law enforcement agencies, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said a tool for mobile forensics has been developed.
Responding a to a question on encryption in the Rajya Sabha, Prasad said, “As part of a programme, a tool for mobile forensics has been developed, which handles smart phones including Apple phones.”
The minister, however, denied any proposal to introduce backdoor or a key for smart phone encryption.
India is closely following the ongoing developments in the US between the smart phone major Apple and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on privacy issues, he said.
The minister said that research and development activity is also being carried out on a continuous basis to upgrade tools and technologies with the emerging new devices and software, including smartphones.
Considering the challenges involved, the government regularly interacts with all stakeholders to address the issues and implement solutions keeping in view security, service and developmental needs of the country.
FBI had recently taken Apple to court to force it to break into the encryption-protected iPhone of California shooters. This is not the first instance when Apple Inc. has been asked by FBI to cooperate with investigations. In 2008, Apple was asked to unlock the phone in child sex abuse case in New York. But by 2013, during the investigation on Edward Snowden, Apple not only enhanced the security feature but was also reluctant to help in FBI investigations. Apple in 2014 improved the technology that even the company would not be able unlock an encrypted phone. Backed by Google and Facebook, Apple says, unlocking would have wide- reaching implications on digital security and privacy.