Manhattan DA: Apple, Google help cyber-criminals to operate with impunity

Speaking at a Bloomberg legal summit, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said over a thousand criminal cases are stalled across the country as a result of Apple and Google’s decision to outfit their phones with encryption, according to FORTUNE.

He claims the tech companies have chosen to “engineer themselves out of criminal investigations,” and allowed cyber-criminals to operate with impunity. Vance wants Congress to take action to force Apple and Google to make their devices accessible to law enforcement agencies with a warrant.

“In my office alone, we now have 270 lawfully-seized iPhones running iOS 8 or 9 that are completely inaccessible,” he said, according to a copy of his remarks. “These devices represent hundreds of real crimes… that cannot be fully investigated, including cases of homicide, child sex abuse, human trafficking, assault, robbery, and yes—cybercrime and identity theft.”