Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai reports:
The rise of usable, frictionless encryption has brought us to a point where users can be fairly certain that their Signal or WhatsApp messages are not being collected, subpoenaed, or wiretapped by cops armed with a warrant or message interception technology.
However, cops and spies still need to do their job and go after the “bad guys,” who might be using the same apps. When passive surveillance is impossible, they use active surveillance, which means hacking a target’s cellphone or computer, and reading the messages directly off the device (rather than intercepting them in transit or getting them from a third party like Google, Apple, or telecom company.) By hacking devices, law enforcement can often see everything that’s done on them, which can make them more powerful for evidence-gathering than simply capturing messages from a specific app or provider.
Read more on Motherboard.