Official police video shows phone-unlocking Cellebrite computer in action

Official police video shows phone-unlocking Cellebrite computer in action
Phone encryption in the context of law enforcement has always been a testy subject, and just weeks ago, tensions rose further as Apple apparently refused to unlock a suspect’s iPhones. Evidently, the FBI has sought other options, such as technology developed by Israeli firm Cellebrite, which claims it can unlock even the most recent iPhones.

Across the Atlantic, Police Scotland officially announced that they would start using the firm’s technology as well, introducing the so-called ‘cyber kiosks’ and the policies governing their usage in a new police video. The video shows the Cellebrite computer system in action, allowing an officer to easily extract encrypted data from a device.

Due to the obvious privacy issues concerning such a device, the video also explains how and when the device will be used. Police Scotland states that the device will not access all data in every case; rather, only a small set of relevant data will be handled. In theory, this should actually decrease the amount of time the victim or suspect’s phone spends in police hands.

The video also stresses that a number of standardized guidelines and procedures are in place to prevent the misuse of such technology. In particular, the machine will log who accessed what device when and for how long, which should mitigate some concerns as well.

While the video doesn’t explicitly show an iPhone being unlocked (the demo device used was actually a Redmi handset), the computer should definitely have the capability, based on Cellebrite’s claims. Hopefully, the proper use of the firm’s devices will help support law enforcement, safety, and convenience for all.

Check out the Police Scotland video below:

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