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Monday, 08 April 2013 10:31

Drug dealers love Apple’s iMessage

Written by Peter Scott

DEA can’t touch it

Apple’s iMessage service is incredibly convenient, reliable and secure, perhaps even a bit too secure. In fact, the US Drug Enforcement Agency is moaning about not being able to trace and intercept messages sent using the service.

In an internal document obtained by CNET, the DEA complains that messages sent via iMessage are next to impossible to intercept, even with a valid warrant.

"IMessages between two Apple devices are considered encrypted communication and cannot be intercepted, regardless of the cell phone service provider," said the DEA. Naturally, the DEA refused to comment the report.

This is not the first time law enforcement ran into a brick wall when dealing with messaging services. A couple of years ago authorities in London found themselves unable to tap Blackberry messages sent by rioters.

Apple might be able to dial down the security, or store copies of all messages for law enforcement, but this doesn’t appear to be on the table, at least not yet. The only hope is that drug smugglers will start using Apple Maps on their Cessnas, and drop their Columbian goodies all over the Aleutians instead of the Florida Keys.

Peter Scott

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