In 2011, Apple Inc. developed iMessage, an instant messaging service capable of sending plain text, pictures, movies, locations, and contacts. In February 21, 2013, the DEA San Jose Resident Office (SJRO) learned that text messages sent via iMessages between Apple products (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and iMac) are not captured by pen register, trap and trace devices, or Title III interceptions. iMessages between two Apple devices are considered encrypted communication and cannot be intercepted, regardless of the cell phone service provider.
Christopher Soghoian, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that "Apple's service is not designed to be government-proof." "It's much much more difficult to intercept than a telephone call or a text message" that federal agents are used to, Soghoian says. "The government would need to perform an active man-in-the-middle attack... The real issue is why the phone companies in 2013 are still delivering an unencrypted audio and text service to users. It's disgraceful."