Law enforcement agencies of all types (Local and State Police, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security etc...) often need to capture and save text messages for the purpose of evidence, investigations, and discovery. This also applies to agencies overseas like the United Kingdom's MI5 or Australia's ASIO.
As personal data and privacy issues continue to be in the forefront in both the news and many civilian’s minds, police departments and law enforcement officials, both in the USA and internationally, are faced with the challenge of how to legally access mobile data for investigative purposes without compromising the rights of an individual under the law.
Mobile data and law enforcement in the news
Many of you are aware of the FBI versus Apple encryption case that occurred a few years ago which addressed whether or not a court of law has the right to compel mobile phone manufacturers to unlock any devices that are encrypted. While this high profile case made international headlines, each week local and state law enforcement agencies are faced with the challenge of how best to save and export text messages for their own investigations and departmental needs.
Domo reports that last year over 561 billion texts were sent every month. Worldwide, mobile SMS messaging has now become the most widely used form of communication for a large percentage of the planet's population. With this comes an increasing need for police and law agencies to have reliable software that can help them legally access an individual’s text message history.
Instructions for police and law enforcement to capture and export text messages
Decipher TextMessage is a desktop program used by many police departments and national investigative agencies to capture, save, and print text messages from any iPhone backup. The software also recovers certain deleted text messages which is an additional plus for law enforcement when attempting to gather evidence.
Follow these specific steps for law enforcement or police to save iPhone text messages to computer:
Back up an iPhone on a Windows or Mac computer.
Install Decipher TextMessage on the computer.
Choose a contact that has text messages you want to save.
Select "Export as PDF."
Save and print the text messages for evidence, police matters, or investigative purposes.
Here is how Decipher TextMessage displays the text messages and attachments. Note the contact name and time/date stamp on every single text message, both sent and received!
Benefits for Law Enforcement who use Decipher TextMessage to export iPhone text messages
- No iPhone jailbreaking required.
- No iCloud password or iTunes password needed.
- Works on encrypted iTunes backups. A password to decrypt is required and the software will prompt law enforcement for this if needed.
- Decipher TextMessage reads from the iTunes backup which can be helpful if the physical device is not accessible.
- All text message data is private and local to the police department’s computer. No data is stored in the cloud or on servers.
- Exported text message can be printed and or saved as a PDF document for evidence in court or trial.
- Both iMessage data and regular SMS text message data are accessible.
- Photo and video attachments are also exported from the iTunes backup.
- The software displays the contact info and time/date stamp on every single text message both sent and received.
Video instructions to save iPhone text messages for law enforcement and police
The video includes steps to save and capture text messages on computer - PC or Mac
Recovery of Deleted iPhone Text Messages
An additional benefit that Decipher TextMessage provides for Police Departments is the ability to recover certain deleted text messages that have been erased from an iPhone. Whether deleted iPhone data is recoverable all depends on what specific information remains in the iPhone backup and has not yet been overwritten by the iOS on the device in question.
It also depends on when the iPhone was last backed up. In order to check to see if any deleted messages are recoverable in the backup, simply open Decipher TextMessage, select "recover" in the menu, and you'll be presented with any deleted data that is leftover in the backup and not erased.
Decipher TextMessage recovers and presents the deleted data in the exact format that it is leftover in the iOS backup. If data is not showing as recoverable, it means that the deleted text messages have either been overwritten by Apple's iOS or that the device in question was not successfully backed up prior to the data being deleted.
If you are a law enforcement agency and have any questions about exporting iPhone text messages or recovering deleted iPhone text messages, simply send us an email via our product support page. We're a USA based software company (San Francisco / Phoenix) and we respond to everyone!