image: Getty Images | erhui1979

FBI exaggerated the number of phones it can’t unlock by up to 550 percent

May 23, 2018

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has repeatedly claimed that it was unable to access data on nearly 7,800 encrypted devices in fiscal 2017, but the FBI now admits the number is far lower. In reality, there were just 1,000 to 2,000 devices that the FBI couldn’t unlock last year, The Washington Post reported yesterday.

The FBI apparently counted individual phones multiple times, an error related to the agency’s use of three separate databases. The FBI used the inflated number as evidence that companies like Apple should weaken smartphone security in order to help the agency access encrypted devices.

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