Apple vs. FBI: New York police say iPhone encryption regularly hinders investigations

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By: Verena Dobnik/Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Police and prosecutors in New York City say encryption technology on Apple mobile phones is now routinely hindering criminal investigations.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said Thursday that 175 Apple devices are sitting in his cybercrime lab right now that investigators can’t access because of encryption.

He says investigators often rely on phone data to investigate killings, child pornography, robbery and identity theft.

Police Commissioner William Bratton says a phone seized in the investigation of the shooting of two police officers in the Bronx is among those that detectives can’t crack.

Apple says it uses encryption to protect customer privacy. The company currently is fighting a judge’s order to help the FBI break into an iPhone used by a gunman in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.