US News & World Report Quotes Michael Vatis on Data Encryption

October 3, 2014

Steptoe partner Michael Vatis was quoted in a US News & World Report article titled “Google, Apple Earn FBI's Wrath Over Privacy.”  The article, published September 26, discusses Apple and Google’s new encryption policies.  Both companies announced that they will not hold the encryption keys to unlock the latest versions of their operating systems, which means that they cannot be compelled by law enforcement to hand over information shared on the phones. 

The policy is causing concern with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.  Mr. Vatis points out that despite the concern, “there is little the FBI can do to force or pressure companies to change their technology to make data stored on the phones accessible to law enforcement.”  The FBI might be able to remotely implant malware in the phone that allows it to tap the device's communications or access stored data, Mr. Vatis says, noting some of the means that government can access phone data.

The full article can be read at US News & World Report.