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Horrifying crime stats on unsolved cases might make you change your mind about encrypted phones

Horrifying crime stats on unsolved cases might make you change your mind about encrypted phones
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

We want our privacy but we also want to be safe. Is one making the other impossible? The FBI has finished hacking the San Bernardino Shooter's phone, but the story is far from over. This week, law-makers and enforcers continued their plea for help from Apple at a congressional hearing on encryption in Washington D.C.

In his testimony before the committee, The New York Police Department's Chief of Intelligence, Thomas Galati, spoke about a growing number of unsolved crimes in his city that involved encrypted phones. In the last 6 months alone, his investigators have been locked out of 67 Apple devices connected with 23 felonies, 10 homicides, two rapes and one case in which two officers were shot in the line of duty.

Galati claims "In every case we have the file cabinet, as it were, and the legal authority to open it, but we lack the technical ability to do so."

Apple says it will assist law enforcement in every way possible, up to the point of creating the so-called "backdoor" they're asking for. Police insist the universal tool for gathering potential evidence from criminal's phones would be more cost effective than hiring hackers for each individual case.

As one privacy advocate suggested, "if you pass a law requiring backdoors, we won't be able to hide anything."

We'd like to hear from you. Could you live with less privacy on your phone if it helped police catch serious criminals hiding behind encrypted devices? Leave your comments below.

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