Want to make sure that your messages are impossible to intercept? Why not use Apple’s iMessage service. According to a DEA report the United States government is having a hard time cracking into Apple’s encrypted messaging service for domestic lawful wiretapping. This after an investigation the DEA conducted last February was thwarted as the surveillance targets began using iMessage for their communications.
The intelligence note titled “APPLE’S iMESSAGES: A CHALLENGE FOR DEA INTERCEPT” details how communication between two Apple devices using iMessage is hard to intercept. This was discovered by the San Jose Resident Office of the DEA. They say that text messages sent using iMessages between Apple products are not captured by pen register, trap and trace devices or Title III interceptions.
Messages sent between an Apple device and a non-Apple device is more likely to be intercepted as it uses SMS protocols. The easy way to intercept the message is to perform it at the non-Apple device.
While messages sent using the iMessage service may be hard to intercept it does not prove that the government will not be able to read it. The DEA can simply go to Apple with a court order asking for their cooperation and we’re sure that they will give up the data. Unlike Google, Twitter or even Microsoft the company does not have a transparency report. This means the public will not know how many times the federal government has made requests to get information and how many times the company has complied with these requests.
iMessage is a free instant messaging service that allows anyone with an iOS or Mac device to send messages over Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE. Text, photos and videos can be exchanged between compatible devices.