Apple Deluged by Police Demands to Decrypt iPhones

Declan McCullagh
May 10, 2013

Apple receives so many police demands to decrypt seized iPhones that it has created a “waiting list” to handle the deluge of requests, CNET has learned.

Court documents show that federal agents were so stymied by the encrypted iPhone 4S of a Kentucky man accused of distributing crack cocaine that they turned to Apple for decryption help last year.

An agent at the ATF, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “contacted Apple to obtain assistance in unlocking the device,” U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell wrote in a recent opinion. But, she wrote, the ATF was “placed on a waiting list by the company.”

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