FBI can gain ‘limited’ access to WhatsApp and Apple iMessage chats

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A new document from the Federal Bureau of Investigation has revealed how much data they can collect from the most popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and iMessage.

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The document, which was written January 7, 2021 by the agency’s Science and Technology Branch and Operational Technology Division, is an internal guide to how the FBI may request data from nine companies and their services: Apple’s iMessage, Line, Signal, Telegram. , Threema, Viber, Tencent’s WeChat, Meta’s WhatsApp and Wickr.

The FBI can obtain “limited” access to iMessages and, with a search warrant, “may present a backup of the target device” and, “if the target uses an iCloud backup … may also receive iMessages from iCloud.” is” if the user has enabled it.


Apple declined to comment on the record Granthshala, instead referring to its legal process guidelines.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp can provide near-real-time data about a user’s messaging habits. It does not pass on the content of the chat, but the metadata around it.

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The document states, “With the exception of WhatsApp, the return data provided by the companies listed below are in fact logs of secret data that are provided to law enforcement in non-real time and delays in delivery may affect investigations.” can do”.

Metadata is an important way of accessing information that can Prevent crime by not breaking end-to-end encryption,

“All messages you send to family and friends on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted. We know that people want their messaging service to be reliable and secure – and for that to happen, WhatsApp needs to have limited data. “We carefully review, verify and respond to law enforcement requests based on applicable law, and are clear about this on our website and regular transparency reports,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.

“This work has helped us lead the industry in delivering private communication while keeping people safe, and has led to arrests in criminal cases, including child sexual abuse cases. This document explains what we are saying – that the law Enforcement does not need to break end-to-end encryption to successfully investigate crimes.”

Other, more private apps, hand out less information. Signal will only provide the date and time a person signed up for the app, and the last login time, while Wickr only provides basic information about the device.

This means that “the most popular encrypted messaging apps iMessage and WhatsApp are also the most permissible,” said Mallory Knodel, chief technology officer at the Center for Democracy and Technology. Rolling stone, which previously reported on the document.

The FBI was not immediately available to comment.


Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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