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May 23, 2018

The FBI inflated the number of encrypted phones linked to crime

The FBI inflated the number of encrypted phones connected to crimes that it did not have access to, according to a report by The Washington Post. The FBI repeatedly claimed to Congress and the public that it did not have access to nearly 7,800 devices linked to criminal investigations last year, though the true number is only a fraction of that, at around 1,000 to 2,000. The bureau has known about the inaccurate number for about a month. One internal estimate puts the accurate number of encrypted devices at 1,200, but a new audit is being launched, and that number may yet change, the paper reported. The miscount occurred because the FBI counted the same devices from three different databases.

The inflated number is significant, given...

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