FBI’s pulling data from 100 Locked phones seized during Trump Inauguration


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As reported by BuzzFeed, in a new filing, prosecutors told a court in Washington, DC that they’re extracting all the data from 100 locked cellphones seized from protesters during the Trump Inauguration. All the phones were locked but the government mentioned that they were still able to extract information from them.

As per the report, out of the 214 protesters that are facing felony rioting charges in relation to the Jan 20 demonstration that turned violent, 100 had their phones seized by authorities. Prosecutors hope to uncover evidence pertaining to the case. As per judicial procedures, the FBI has vowed to share such data with the defense attorneys.

The extracted information will be presented as an electronic database to the defendants. However, since it will also contain personal information that may be irrelevant to the case, prosecutors are seeking a court order that prohibits the defense lawyers from copying or sharing such information.

“All of the Rioter Cell Phones were locked, which requires more time-sensitive efforts to try to obtain the data,” Jennifer Kerkhoff, an assistant United States attorney, wrote.

This kind of data extraction has become common by the law enforcement agencies all over US, using combination of hardware and software created by Cellebrite and other firms.

According to Ars Technica, pulling data might be difficult for fully updated iPhones and Android devices. However, the older devices are more vulnerable.

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