Access to the Truth
Grayshift was founded
Each of the founders has a background in cyber security research and some of us were part of successful previous acquisitions (i.e. ISS by IBM, SPI Dynamics by HP, and Endgame by Elastic). The December 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA, and the resulting publicity over the difficulty to extract data from the suspect’s iPhone served as a catalyst for the idea to found Grayshift and focus on building forensic access solutions. As was then and still is now, the prevalence of mobile devices combined with advancements in modern encryption are creating an unyielding demand and urgency in the race to solve crimes. Since our inception, Grayshift has been laser-focused on building effective digital forensics solutions that provides lawful access during the course of criminal investigations.
The digital forensics industry is ripe for innovation. Digital forensics is a growing, complex market with highly-nuanced and technical challenges. Grayshift’s tagline is “Access Lawfully. Discover Swiftly. Protect Justly” and we strive to operate with the highest integrity. Our mission is to aid in creating safer communities. At Grayshift, we have the courage to develop solutions that empower law enforcement to safeguard and protect our communities.
Grayshift partners with Law Enforcement and are jointly dedicated to protecting and seeking justice for victims of crime. The company’s lawful access solutions are purpose-built to help law enforcement and government investigative agencies swiftly resolve critical investigations and ensure public safety. Grayshift values privacy and adheres to strict security guidelines to promote the lawful use of our solutions so that they do not infringe upon people’s liberties and personal privacy. To prevent any inappropriate, unauthorized use of its solutions, Grayshift has robust monitoring and disabling systems. Grayshift’s flagship product known as GrayKey, is used only with the proper legal authority by Law Enforcement Agencies to extract data from locked devices and is not used in a covert manner.
We recognize that access is the cornerstone of digital forensics. Only with access At Grayshift, we strongly believe in security for consumer products but also understand and support the need for lawful access of seized smart devices. We understand the need for expedited access to locked evidence because time is crucial to the solvability of your case. We’re proud to say that countless incidents have been solved because of GrayKey and its ability to obtain same-day lawful access to the latest versions of locked iOS hardware. This is a feature that other vendors fail to offer.
Grayshift is dedicated to the lawful use of technology to protect the public, create safer communities, and ensure a fair and bias-free legal process for everyone. We are intentional, data-driven and careful about where and to whom we provide our technology. Furthermore, we adhere to strict security guidelines in order to promote the lawful use of our GrayKey solution and to not infringe upon people’s liberties and personal privacy.
Searching for the Truth in a Complex World
Magnet Forensics was founded by a police officer struggling to lawfully recover critical digital evidence in a timely fashion in child sexual exploitation online and human trafficking cases with the existing tools available.
Helping the victims of these heinous crimes was the initial intent behind the innovation that led to the creation of the company. But what was realized is that the advancement of digital forensics could be a game-changer in the pursuit of justice. Beyond supporting victims of crimes growing in the digital age, such primary evidence has the ability to close the levels of doubt in successful convictions and exonerating the innocent.
Seeking justice is not just a corporate moniker for Magnet Forensics. It’s core to who we are. Fundamental to that pursuit is helping our customers surface the truth.
But the reality is that the definition of justice and its application differs from country to country. For Magnet Forensics, one of the greatest challenges we face is deciding where and to whom we sell our digital forensics products globally.
For those countries that are largely isolated from the global economy, the solution is simple. Magnet Forensics abides by all export sanctions and controls placed on us by the legal jurisdictions we operate in. Further, we do not circumvent the spirit of those laws by exporting our software tools from countries who do allow such exports to the isolated countries or specific entities.
The more challenging piece is around countries with whom we are legally allowed to transact with but have concern about the country’s track record in upholding human-rights, especially the rule of law.
We at Magnet Forensics reserve the right to not sell our products to customers or in jurisdictions despite having the legal ability to do so and we have exercised this right.
We look to understand the human rights situation and the respect for the rule of law in countries where we are exporting our digital forensics tools to, leveraging government and respected third parties’ reports. Ultimately, that call is made by an independent member of the Magnet team who is not compensated based on sales opportunities.
It’s difficult to overlook things like blatant cronyism by government officials or the marginalization of ethnic minorities. But engagement has its benefits over a longer time horizon. Digital forensics has a role to play. Surfacing facts in the justice sector, is a cause worthy of pursuit.
For example, a digital forensics report exonerating a political dissident held on trumped up charges in an autocratic regime may not be enough to secure their freedom. But it may compel a police officer or judge to blow the whistle on the abuse of the rule of law.
In recent years, media reports about surveillance technologies being exported to less democratic countries that have enabled human rights abuses has given us serious pause for concern. We reviewed our own policies and procedures as a result.
We know that surveillance tools are fundamentally different than digital forensics tools and have a greater potential to be abused. But this does not absolve us of from the risk of our tools being improperly used. While it would be easier to simply stop exporting our tools to countries that pose any risk, we decided to continue to engage with caution because we believe that supporting those in a society whose purpose is to pursue the truth and justice is a worthy cause relative to the known risks.
This is not to suggest that we will sell our products in any country or to any entity it is legal to do so. Nor are we suggesting we are perfect in assessing our customers. A decision to sell our tools in a given country in the past may not present well now given the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape. We continuously review our approach and course correct where possible. But we also take solace from Gandhi’s maxim that the “truth never damages a cause that is just”. It reminds us of the importance of our mission in surfacing the truth, helping seek justice and spreading our tools and values in our complex world.