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TPD Says Encrypted Tech Can Hinder Investigations

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A growing problem is affecting Tulsa's criminal investigations. 

Tulsa police are seeing a concerning number of encrypted cell phones and computers.

A detective with the Digital Forensics Lab said encrypted devices are making it difficult, even impossible to solve some crimes. 

Investigators are having a tough time with smartphones being a little too smart. 

iPhones, Androids, and computers have security codes that make them impossible to get into even when officers have a warrant. 

A locked phone, detectives say, can sometimes hold the key to critical information to help solve anything from petty thefts to homicides.

"We're finding more and more often that we can't get into those devices even though we have the legal authority to, even though it's really important to the community that we get his evidence because phone manufacturers have made it intentionally difficult if not impossible to get into these phones," said Detective Joshua Showman. 

Showman said a phone or computer is no different than any other physical property that may be inside your home or car that's collected during a criminal investigation. 

And while they are sensitive to privacy concerns, data in these devices related to phone logs, internet searches, and pictures can help them make or break a case. 

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