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  • Voltaire Staff

Apple refuses ED Kejriwal's iPhone password request

Apple has declined to unlock the iPhone belonging to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is behind bars on charges of money laundering in an alleged Excise scam.

The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the alleged excise policy scam, had informally approached Apple to gain access to Kejriwal's phone but was rebuffed.

A source told The Print that this was not the first time Apple denied access to ED.

"There was no written communication but Apple was asked to help with opening Kejriwal’s phone as it is required to assist in the investigation, but the request was denied," the source said.

The person indicated that Kejriwal has expressed concerns that if the Enforcement Directorate accessed his mobile phone data and chats, they would gain insights into AAP’s election strategy and alliances.

Meanwhile, the ED informed a Delhi court that the Delhi Chief Minister gave "evasive replies" during five statements recorded daily from March 23 to March 27.

Kejriwal was arrested on the night of March 21 in relation to the excise policy case following extensive interrogation at his residence.

Reports suggest that on the night of his arrest, the CM turned off his iPhone and declined to divulge the password.

The ED sources' have asserted that the agency possesses "ample evidence" and "statements from other accused individuals" supporting the claim that Kejriwal solicited Rs 100 crore from Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha in return for favours in the liquor sector in Delhi.

According the ED, Kejriwal was aware of "how undue favours were being extended to the licensees like waivers and reduction in the license fee, and the extension of the L-1 license (granted to business entities having wholesale distributin experience in liquor trade) in exchange for kickbacks."

Apple CEO Tim Cook had in 2016 addressed his employees, emphasising that their refusal to assist the US government in unlocking an iPhone linked to the San Bernardino attack, where one of the two shooters used iphone, was a principled stand in defence of civil liberties.

Cook urged the Department of Justice to retract its order, opposing FBI director James Comey's call for compliance to aid the victims' pursuit of justice.

Despite affirming Apple's opposition to terrorism, Cook highlighted the potential dangers of yielding to such demands, emphasising the protection of data security and civil liberties for millions.

Four years later, Apple's then senior director of global privacy, Jane Horvath, reiterated the importance of end-to-end encryption in safeguarding the services relied upon by users.


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