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Manhattan DA: Terrorists love using Apple and Google phones

Manhattan DA: Terrorists love using Apple and Google phones
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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. on Sunday said in an interview broadcast Sunday that new Apple and Google technology will vastly improve communications for terrorists.

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“[They] cannot be accessed by law enforcement, even when a court has authorized us to look at its contents,” Vance told host John Catsimatidis of the new Apple iPhones and Google’s similar devices on “The Cats Roundtable” in New York.

“The implication of this is that it’s going to affect our ability to protect New Yorkers,” he added.

“It’s also going to have national security implications because a device that cannot be accessed by judicial warrant can be used by home-grown violent extremists and terrorists to communicate with each other to send…messages without law enforcement being able to identify what they’re saying,” the prosecutor concluded.

Vance said that Apple had opened the floodgates by making its latest round of phones and software inaccessible to law enforcement. Google was now following suit, he continued, leaving authorities blind to any criminal chatter on such devices.

“Together, Apple and Google’s phone comprise 96.4% of the world market for cell phones,” he said.

“[They are] the terrorists’ communications device of choice,” he declared.

Vance warned these same technological vulnerabilities were available to criminal enterprises too. Wrongdoers could also exploit Apple and Google devices for cyber crime, forgery, larceny and sex crime, he said.

President Obama said he would support measures opening backdoors in communications and social media technologies last January.

Such measures would force companies like Apple and Google to create holes in their programming that would let the government track suspected criminals or terrorists.

“Social media and the Internet is the primary way in which these terrorist organizations are communicating,” Obama said in a Jan. 16 press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on cybersecurity.

“Because this is a whole new world, as David says, the laws that might’ve been designed for the traditional wiretap have to be updated,” Obama continued.

“How we do that needs to be debated both here in the United States and in the U.K.,” he said.