The deceased Sutherland Springs gunman Devin Patrick Kelley’s act of killing about 26 persons in Texas church has caused much uproar. Texas Rangers decided to serve Apple with a search warrant covering several files stored in Kelley’s iCloud account.
It is clear for anyone to see that the law enforcement has its focus on accessing the phone call as well as the message information. It will also be seeking to see and analyze videos and photos dating back to January 1st, 2016.
Another warrant has also been unleashed and it sought to pave way for the law enforcement to scrutinize the data independently on the iPhone SE that was discovered near Kelley’s body.
It was on November 9th that the warrants were obtained, only days before the FBI launched complaints that the encryption had stood on its way in accessing the shooter’s phone. The policies of Apple are quite elaborate. The company will be sharing its iCloud data with a series of law enforcement agencies that will present it with valid warrants.
How frequently Kelley engaged in the set up of backups using iCloud will be looked into critically. There could also be the need to scrutinize the phone since it might have additional information. However, the company has had reservations over time refusing requests made to gain direct access to its wide array of devices.
Apple recently went to court to oppose the act of unlocking a phone belonging to Syed Farook, the San Bernardino shooter. But things turned out differently after the FBI went ahead to successfully hack the phone without necessarily requiring its assistance. With immediate effect this particular case was rendered moot.
The FBI has been keen on using the Sutherland Springs shooting in launching arguments in line with defending the fact that the strong encryption has been hurting law enforcement’s ability to investigate crimes.
The company’s spokesperson opined, “We received only a warrant for iCloud content, not iCloud and iPhone data. A more general warrant was issued separately to allow law enforcement to access the phone.”