The USA might have had a hard time keeping up with Apple Inc. when it came to encryption, but if some has learnt from this, it’s India.
As Apple and FBI fought it out in the courts over privacy issues, a case later withdrawn, Indian government seems pretty confident if the situation would ever happen in India. The government said that they understand the challenge for law enforcement agencies when it comes to strong encryption technology to secure data and communications in smartphones.
However, a tool for mobile forensics has already been developed to handle smartphones, including Apple.
In a reply to the Rajya Sabha, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government has taken note of media reports about the dispute between the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple Inc. He added, "Smartphones including phones by Apple 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."
The issue of encryption has been a topic of serious debate in the USA and when Apple denied FBI the assistance they needed when asked to break through into the encryption-protected iPhone 5C, the issue was rekindled. Backed by giants like Google and Facebook, the whole country faced a debate to choose between security and privacy.
Making sure it never comes to this in India, Prasad 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.
He added by saying 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.
"As part of this programme, a tool for Mobile forensics has been developed, which handles smartphones including Apple phones."
He, however, denied any proposal with the government to introduce backdoor or a key for smartphone encryption.
(With inputs from PTI)