Remember When The FBI & NYPD Told People To Upgrade Their iPhones To Enable Stronger Security?
from the because-it-helps-stop-crime dept
Look, let’s face facts here. For all the talk coming from the law enforcement community that they need backdoors into encryption to stop crime, they absolutely know that the reverse is true: strong encryption prevents crime. Lots of it. Strong encryption on phones makes stealing those phones a lot less worthwhile, because all the information on them is locked up. As we noted back in 2014, the FBI had a webpage advocating for mobile encryption to protect your phone’s data:
But it’s not just the FBI. Trevor Timm alerts us to the amazing fact that just a couple of years ago, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) was literally roaming the streets, giving people fliers telling them to upgrade their iPhones to enable greater security features to protect against crime. Michael Hoffman tweeted a picture of the flier he received:
Four uniformed NYPD officers were at my subway stop tonight asking me to upgrade to iOS 7. Not a joke! pic.twitter.com/CGdR2RqtKJ
— Michael Hoffman (@Hoffm) September 21, 2013
PUBLIC AWARENESS NOTICEAs of Wednesday, September 18, 2013 the new iOS7 software update available for your Apple product brings added security to your devices.
ATTENTION APPLE USERS!!!!
By downloading the new operating system, should your device be lost or stolen it cannot be reprogrammed without an Apple ID and Password.
The download is FREE from Apple.
In other words, law enforcement in NYC absolutely knows that stronger security on phones prevents crime. And yet, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is running around pretending that these phones have created a crime wave in NY?
And, it appears that the data absolutely supports what the FBI and the NYPD apparently used to know, but are now pretending to forget. An article last summer by Kevin Bankston, laid out the details, noting that phone theft is a massive epidemic, with criminals swiping millions of phones — and many of them then seeking to get access to the data on those phones. While the introduction of remote kill switches has helped reduce some of that, encryption is a much better solution.
So what happened? Did the FBI and NYPD really “forget” everything they knew two and a half years ago about encryption and how it stops crime?