DEA Complains Apple Text Messaging Protocol is Encrypted All the Way Through

Even with a warrant they may not get access they want


Encryption used in Apple's iMessage chat service has stymied attempts by federal drug enforcement agents to eavesdrop on suspects' conversations, an internal government document reveals.

An internal Drug Enforcement Administration document seen by CNET discusses a February 2013 criminal investigation and warns that because of the use of encryption, "it is impossible tointercept iMessages between two Apple devices" even with a court order approved by a federal judge.

The DEA's warning, marked "law enforcement sensitive," is the most detailed example to date of the technological obstacles—FBI director Robert Mueller has called it the "Going Dark" problem—that police face when attempting to conduct court-authorized surveillance on non-traditional forms of communication.