India will soon get the technology that would allow law enforcement authorities to unlock iPhone and other mobile devices incorporating top-notch encryption systems. With the technology, India's forensic facilities could become the global hub for enforcement agencies looking for unlocking mobile devices.
The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), the country's forensic institute located in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat state in western India, will buy the technology from an Israeli firm Cellebrite, suggests a report by the Economic Times.
FSL is now holding talks with the company to obtain the technology that would allow it to decrypt mobile devices.
"We are likely to have the technology within a month or so. India will become a global hub for cases where law enforcement is unable to break into phones," a senior FSL official told ET.
The official said without this technology it is impossible to break into iPhone 8 running iOS 8 or above. Another FSL official said the laboratory had sought help in a few cases as well from Cellebrite, but now they would be able to get the entire tool. FSL Gandhinagar will be the only lab to have this technology. However, requests for cracking phones from the country's other forensic institutes would be done for a fee.
The Israeli company that specialises in digital forensics has been rumoured to have helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to crack an iPhone used by San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook. The company is said to have worked with major intelligence and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
The FBI and Apple fought a long battle over unlocking the iPhone 5c of Syed Farook, who along with his wife had killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015. The FBI reportedly paid Cellebrite a million dollar-plus fee for unlocking the iPhone.