(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)
NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.
------------------------------------------------- SOMETHING TO CELLEBRITE. Controversy over cops breaking into people's cellphones is heading to a stock exchange near you. Israeli digital intelligence outfit Cellebrite is merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, TWC Tech Holdings II, at an equity valuation https://cf-media.cellebrite.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Cellebrite_Investor-Presentation_Apr-2021_Final.pdf of $2.4 billion.
Cellebrite majors on unlocking digital devices unearthed in criminal investigations and knitting all the data it finds together with other material, like video footage. It claims law-enforcement clients in all of America's 20 largest cities, for example, and in 25 of the European Union's 27 national police forces. The company says investigators use its name as a verb https://cf-media.cellebrite.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Cellebrite-Transaction-Webcast-Transcript-8Apr2021.pdf.
The company helped the FBI https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-encryption-cellebrite/israeli-firm-helping-fbi-to-open-encrypted-iphone-report-idUSKCN0WP17J unlock a shooter's iPhone when the U.S. Justice Department was fighting Apple for access back in 2016. That spat was about privacy and limits, if any, on encryption available to consumers. Like, say, Palantir Technologies , another law-enforcement favorite, Cellebrite boss Yossi Carmil talks about serving the common good, not the bad guys. Maybe a Nasdaq listing will make that easier for the public to, well, police. (By Richard Beales)
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