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Law enforcement prepare for challenges as Apple creates road block for data mining devices

Posted at 8:47 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 23:22:32-05

TULSA, Okla. -- Cracking the code of iPhones gained national attention after the deadly San Bernadino terrorist attack.

Digital security experts say after the 2015 attack the FBI asked Apple to unlock the suspect's phone. The company refused. Now there are new tools to open iPhones.

"It's the age old question of "How much data do we want law enforcement to have?" How much control do we want the government to have?" security consultant Aaron Moss said.

Moss said law enforcement began using GrayKey, as it targeted a blind spot in Apple's system. This is something Apple fixed with iOS 12.

"It's still a possibility that a new vulnerability could exist that they find eventually and then GrayKey implements that into the newer versions of their software which will then unlock new iOS's in the future," Moss said.

GrayKey makes it possible for law enforcement to open your phone and access the information inside. Tulsa County prosecutors said this evidence is used in the majority of their cases.

"It could be something as simple as a text message which confirms or denies a fact in the case. Or it could be something even more specific about it: them confessing to something, in the text message or something with more where the phone is located at the particular time," first assistant district attorney Erik Grayless said.

Grayless said this is particularly helpful in homicide cases, when the victim is unable to talk.

"Data and what's on phones can't lie. It's specific forensic evidence, which is so important as we seek to make sure we get the bad guys that are guilty put behind bars," Grayless said.

Oklahoma City Police are currently using GrayKey. The departments 2 Works for You spoke with in Green Country said they're using other software to get the proof they need.

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