A recently penned intelligence memo indicates that the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is experiencing some difficulty intercepting iMessages, which employs secure end-to-end encryption.
Indeed, according to official documents obtained by CNET, “it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices” even with a court order approved by a federal judge.
Although both Apple and the DEA declined to comment on iMessage and encryption, Christopher Soghoian, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, noted that “Apple’s service is not designed to be government-proof.”
“It’s much much more difficult to intercept than a telephone call or a text message that federal agents are used to,” Soghoian explained.
“The government would need to perform an active man-in-the-middle attack… The real issue is why the phone companies in 2013 are still delivering an unencrypted audio and text service to users. It’s disgraceful.”