Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney and an outspoken critic of encryption, called on Congress to adopt legislation mandating that mobile phone makers like Apple and Google bake backdoors into their smartphones.
Vance said it is “government’s principal responsibility to keep its residents safe, and that a government cannot fulfill that responsibility if huge amounts of vital information directly related to public safety are inaccessible to the government.”
The district attorney’s proposal provided data saying that in a span of 12 months ending in October, as many as 111 prosecutions in his office for a variety of crimes like homicide, attempted murder, sexual abuse of a child, sex trafficking, assault, and robbery were hindered because of encrypted mobile phones connected to the cases. He also cited a litany of prosecutions in which evidence obtained from mobile phones helped solve the same types of cases.
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