An article on Ars Technica reports on a rant against Apple made by New York County District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., for including strong encryption in their iPhone OS. One claim he made jumps out as being suspect (or rather even more suspect than the others):

He said Apple was evil for baking encryption into iOS 8 and that a law enforcement backdoor should be allowed. He told the committee that a jailhouse recording of two inmates had one of them saying that iOS 8's default encryption was a "gift from God."

The quote attributed to Vance seems valid. However, I'm more interested in the claim made in it about the alleged prisoner discussion. He doesn't name the jailhouse or the inmates so it seems to be entirely hyperbole to me. Have any criminals ever been documented as having said that?

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    It seems vanishingly unlikely that some criminal somewhere - and probably many of them - hasn't expressed wholehearted approval of built-in encryption. I see no point in trying to find the exact source of the quote. Jul 10, 2015 at 15:55
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is impossible to answer, as records of conversations by prison inmates are not public information.
    – gerrit
    Jul 11, 2015 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


Here is a more detailed excerpt, including the quote from the alleged recording, from New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr's written testimony at the Senate committee hearing:

Recently, a defendant in a serious felony case told another individual on recorded jailhouse call that “Apple and Google came out with these softwares that can no longer be encrypted [sic : decrypted] by the police. . . . If our phones is running on the iO[S]8 software, they can’t open my phone. That might be another gift from God.”

During the Senate committee hearing, no one pressed Vance for more details on the matter. It seems to be simply anecdotal, as the authenticity would have little impact on the statement.

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