Cy Vance: speaks on burdens of tech firm smartphone encryption.
Cy Vance: speaks on burdens of tech firm smartphone encryption.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. touted his agency's use of mercenary hackers to crack phone encryption while criticizing the lack of federal legislation to force tech giants to make exceptions in smartphone encryption for when judicial warrants are issued.

"It's just impossible to overstate the value of this kind of direct evidence," Vance said, Thursday addressing a crowd at a cybersecurity conference hosted by his office at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to the New York Daily News.

The DA went on to cite a case in which his agency contracted official hackers to break into an iPhone 4S running an iOS8 operating system to obtain evidence that lead to the conviction of a pedophile.

Vance said the conversations has shifted from regulating consumer products to whether or not law enforcement should break into tech giant's products leading to a destructive cat-and-mouse game.

Vance went on to criticize how law enforcement spent $1 million, resources many smaller agencies don't have, to break into the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist's encrypted phone.