U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has cut a deal to spend millions of dollars on tech tools that can unlock mobile devices and glean their data.
A government website says the devices are for use by an Internet-crime fighting arm of ICE that helps with cross-border investigations, and the contract is worth $28.2 million.
The money is to pay a company called Cellebrite, which announced in June that it had could unlock and pull data from all Apple and high-end Android devices.
About two weeks later, ICE gave notice that it planned to award Cellebrite a contract for “universal forensic extraction devices.”
The notice said Cellebrite was the only company that could meet the agency’s needs. The deal was made official on Sept. 12.
A spokesperson for Cellebrite said the company had no further comment beyond ICE’s notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
An ICE spokesperson emailed a written statement: “The agency does not comment on law enforcement sensitive information, such as the current or potential tools, tactics and procedures our special agents and/or officers may implement for law enforcement activities.”