Apple Rejects Kenya Government Request To Unlock Suspect’s iPhone

Image courtesy The Bloomgist

American tech firm Apple has yet again found itself at crossroads with a government that seeks to have its devices decrypted. The iPhone maker is reported to have rejected a request from the Kenyan government to unlock two iPhones. These smartphones were subject to police investigation in the six months to December.

This was revealed through the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filings of December 23rd. They indicate that Apple received an appeal from Kenya seeking communication details on an iPhone that remained unlocked.

The U.S. market regulator did not disclose the type of information Kenya was looking for from the iPhones or owners of the gadgets.

This turn down from Apple echoes previous occasions where the firm has opposed demands by governments, including the U.S. to unlock an encrypted iPhone. According to Apple, such a move ould violate its free speech rights.

“Examples of such requests are where law enforcement agencies are working on behalf of customers who have requested assistance regarding lost or stolen devices,” said the SEC in a report that lists countries that sought access to blocked iPhones.

“Additionally, Apple regularly receives multi-device requests related to fraud investigations. Device-based requests generally seek details of customers associated with devices or device connections to Apple services.”

Such orders from authorities would require the company to build new software that would let the government bypass these devices’ security and unlock the phones. The tech giant has argued before that such software would end up affection other devices that are not under investigation. This would end up with Apple in trouble as it would violate one of its core policies- user privacy.

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