is reportedly not the only government agency asking tech companies for help in cracking technology to access user data. Sources say the FBI
has a history of requesting digital backdoors, which are generally understood as a hidden vulnerability in a program that would, in theory, let the agency peek into suspects' computers and communications.
In 2005, when Microsoft
was about to launch BitLocker
, its Windows software to encrypt and lock hard drives, the company approached the NSA, its British counterpart the GCHQ
and the FBI, among other government and law-enforcement agencies. Microsoft's goal was twofold: get feedback from the agencies, and sell BitLocker to them.