Christopher Wray, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has said that the agency has a "huge, huge problem" with data encryption denying it the ability to access numerous devices.
Wray, speaking at the 2017 International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP 2017) in Philadelphia, revealed that the FBI had been unable break into over 50% of devices it wanted to gain access to over an 11-month period, amounting to around 7000 mobile devices. However, he didn't mention the specific devices and encryption methods that are giving the FBI trouble were not mentioned, perhaps for security reasons.
Wray added that there needed to be more of a balance struck between giving his agency the tools it needed in order to maintain public safety and personal data encryption. Assumedly, he was referring to the agency needing to have the tools to fight terrorism and crime effectively, but in the USA there would probably be various advocates of personal privacy and liberty that might be very much against the expansion of such abilities from their government.
It is no secret that devices are becoming more secure and harder to gain access to, particularly as the makers of these devices, as well as other businesses, begin to rely on biometric authentication, requiring the owner's facial, iris, or fingerprint scans. But the FBI has shown that it is more than eager to be given a "backdoor" to these new obstacles and encrypted communications, going as far as offering bribes for them.