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KCSO seeks approval for technology to unlock iPhones

Posted: 12:04 PM, Mar 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-08 15:04:52-05
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The Kern County Sheriff's Office is looking for approval to purchase equipment that would help unlock iPhones of suspects.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Donny Youngblood will seek approval from the Kern County Board of Supervisors to move forward with purchasing GrayKey technology.

According to a letter to supervisors, the Southern Tri-County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area's executive board approved using $15,030 to purchase the equipment.

The agreement would be with GrayShift, LLC, which would provide the GrayKey technology.

According to the letter to supervisors, the GrayKey "hardware consists of specialized equipment that connects to cellular telephones. The software allows the equipment to unlock cellular telephones, specifically those phones equipped with iOS software. This expenditure will allow detectives to utilize recently developed technology in order to assist in the recovery of electronic and metadata evidence stored on cellular phones."

According to an article in Forbes, an "ad showed Grayshift claiming to be able to unlock iPhones running iOS 10 and 11, with iOS 9 support coming soon. It also claims to work on the latest Apple hardware, up to the iPhone 8 and X models."

Supervisors will discuss approving the request on Tuesday.