Some senior FBI and Department of Justice officials wanted to take Apple to court to force it to comply, according to the Times, but that plan was dropped – perhaps because Apple couldn’t decrypt the messages even if it wanted to.

The i Message platform uses end-to-end encryption – so called because the messages are encrypted on the sender’s device and are only decrypted when they reach the intended recipient.

As the New York Times reported this week, Apple recently told a US court that it couldn’t comply with a wiretap order to turn over messages sent via Apple’s i Message system, because they were encrypted.

So far, the technology companies aren’t playing along.

Since the bombshell revelations of NSA spying by leaker Edward Snowden, US companies have taken great pains to prove to consumers that they support strong privacy protections.

Texts and photos sent via i Message (and videos sent via Face Time) aren’t decrypted in transit, and can’t be accessed at either end without the user’s passcode.

As Apple says, not even Apple can decrypt the messages: Apple has no way to decrypt i Message and Face Time data when it's in transit between devices.

Online chemistry is no guarantee of real-world chemistry, so be careful about any emotional attachment that develops before you meet in person.

Skype dates have their own unique set of challenges and it’s important to address them early on.Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a letter to consumers upon the release of i OS 8 (which includes encryption by default), pledged that the company has never worked with any government agency to create a backdoor.Cook’s letter also included the pledge that Apple never allows access to its servers – and “never will” – but that promise appears to have been broken if the Times report about Apple turning over messages stored in i Cloud is accurate.There’s always a chance your date will ask for a bit of a virtual tour of your space, so don’t just shove your dirty laundry barely out of view, either. Make sure you’re lit well so she can see your face — and so you look your best. If you’re hoping to avoid double chins and other awkward angles, keep the computer’s camera level with, or slightly above, your eye line. When you’re chatting, don’t stare at yourself on the screen. You’d dress up for an in-person date, so why not put a little effort into a Skype date? The best lighting setup is to have two light sources, one coming from behind your monitor, another coming from the side. You’ll look distracted and noncommittal to the conversation. You don’t need to wear a shirt and tie, but looking like you just rolled out of bed — in a sloppy way, not a sexy one — seems lazy and disrespectful. Last week, Terrell Mc Sweeny, one of four appointed commissioners at the US Federal Trade Commission, wrote a column for the Huffington Post urging consumers and technology companies to use end-to-end encryption.