Apple restricts law enforcement accessibility to iPhone

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

Apple Inc. will release a new update of its iOS software which will include the new USB Restricted Mode feature, limiting unauthorized access of user information on iPhones.

The multinational technology company engineered the restricted feature in order to disable data transfer through the Lightning port one hour after a phone was last locked, preventing popular third-party hacking tools used by law enforcement from accessing the device.

Notably, the port can still be used for charging.

The update could reignite tensions between Apple and the US government, which desires technology companies to include accessibility and official methods to get around encryption and other security measures on users’ devices.

Technology companies including Apple have objected to such requests.

“We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves, and intrusions into their personal data,” Apple said in a statement Wednesday. “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.”

Security advocate Kurl Opsahl, who serves as the deputy executive director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, explains the advantage Apple has achieved in security progress.

“Law enforcement is in the golden age of surveillance, with an unprecedented ability to look into every aspect of our lives, and more data available than ever before,” said Opsahl. “We should not weaken security for millions of innocent users just to keep one exploit working longer.”

The update will be available in iOS 12, the company’s latest mobile operating system. Release is scheduled to occur in late 2018.