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FBI Admits It Overstated Number of Encrypted Cellphones Investigators Can’t Access

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oops.

The FBI has long used the figure of 7,700 when talking about the number of encrypted cellphones that investigators are unable to access in 2017.

Now, USA Today reports that the number was inflated because of a flawed internal accounting system that relied on multiple databases.

The FBI issued a statement Tuesday saying it had recently became “aware of flaws with the methodology” used to gather statistics from three separate databases to measure the problem.

“The FBI’s initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported through (the FBI’s Operational Technology Division) databases,” according to the statement.

“The FBI is currently conducting an in-depth review of how this over-counting previously occurred, and how the methodology can be corrected to capture future data accurately.”

 


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