A CONFUSING EXCHANGE has led some to believe that the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) has no problem bashing its way into an Apple iPhone, while others suggest that it could ask Apple to do it.
We all know that Apple is unlikely to yield to a request, which is why the original hearing as ‘demand' over ‘request' is so interesting.
Vice's Motherboard reported that Chris Farrimond, deputy director of intelligence collection at the NCA, made a statement in response to a request from Ian Brown, professor of information security and privacy at the Oxford Internet Institute.
That original exchange was heard by Silkie Carlo, a policy officer at campaign group Liberty, who reported on Twitter that Farrimond was asked whether the NCA could "force" Apple's hand. He replied "yes" during a public panel discussion at Parliament called Cross-Border Data Requests and the Investigatory Powers Bill.
However, Farrimond did not bask in the glory of being the sort of guy who doesn't mess about and would march right in and do something that the US equivalent faffed about with, and quickly shot back on Twitter that his comments had been misheard.
It isn't quite what Liam Neeson says in Taken, but it still shows that the NCA could be pushed to ask Apple to do something that it does not want to do.
The back and forth between Carlo and Farrimond doesn't settle much apart from some stuff about the draft status of the Snoopers' Charter.
We approached Brown for his take on what was said, and he directed us back to Carlo and Farrimond.
We have also approached Farrimond and the NSA to see whether an Apple unlock request would be nice or nasty. µ
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