Strong Smartphone Security a Challenge for Law Enforcement: Prasad

Strong Smartphone Security a Challenge for Law Enforcement: PrasadAs Apple slugs it out with FBI on privacy issues, India Friday said strong encryption technology to secure data and communications in smartphones, including those made by the US-based firm, is a challenge for law enforcement agencies.

It said however that a tool for mobile forensics has been developed to handle smartphones including Apple.

“Smart phones including phones by Apple Inc. employ strong encryption to secure the data stored and to protect the communication. Such Encryption technologies pose challenges to Law Enforcement Agencies throughout the world including India,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He said the government has taken note of media reports about the dispute between the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple Inc.

FBI had taken Apple to court to force it to break into the encryption-protected iPhone 5c. Backed by technology giants such as Google and Facebook, Apple is opposed to assisting the agency in unlocking the iphone, saying it would have wide-reaching implications on digital security and privacy.

Prasad said that considering the challenges involved, government regularly interacts with all stakeholders to address the issues and implement solutions keeping in view security, service and developmental needs of the country.

He said that research and development activity is also being carried out on a continuous basis to upgrade tools and technologies with the emerging new devices and software, including smartphones.

“As part of this programme, a tool for Mobile forensics has been developed, which handles Smart phones including Apple phones,” Prasad said.

He, however, denied any proposal with the government to introduce backdoor or a key for smart phone encryption.