More than two years ago, Apple notified the FBI that it planned to roll out end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups, Reuters reported. Apple eventually abandoned the plan at some point after the FBI objected, though the report noted that it was unclear whether federal agencies were a factor in the decision.
A former Apple employee told Reuters that the company did not want to risk protecting criminals from charges or pushing for new anti-encryption legislation, and did not want to be censored by officials, so it made the decision.
“They decided not to touch the tiger’s ass anymore,” the person said. Previously, Apple had launched a legal battle with the FBI over the unlocking of the iPhone used by the perpetrators of the 2016 Shooting in San Bernardino, California.
However, Apple’s stance on refusing to create a backdoor in iOS means the FBI has difficulty getting Apple’s assistance to unlock password-protected iPhones to help them with their investigations, as Apple noted in its transparency report. Data backed up to iCloud has been provided to the authorities under the current legal framework.