I spent the past week weighing the evidence and believe it's an overstatement for Apple to say that only the sender and receiver of iMessage and FaceTime conversations can see and read their contents. There are several scenarios in which Apple employees, either at the direction of an NSA order or otherwise, could read customers' iMessage or FaceTime conversations, and I'll get to those in a moment. But first, I want to make it clear that my conclusion is based on so-called black-box testing, which examines the functionality of an application or service with no knowledge of their internal workings. No doubt, Apple engineers have a vastly more complete understanding, but company representatives declined my request for more information. [...]
"In the case of iMessage intercept capabilities, Apple is taking a page from Skype's playbook -- make very carefully worded statements about the existence of encryption, and then let people read far more into their claims than they have actually made," Chris Soghoian, who is principal technologist and senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union, told Ars. "When reading Apple's carefully worded PRISM denial, remember it was written by a hybrid team of lawyers and PR folks. Every word matters. At best, they are being cagey, at worst, outright deceptive."
"Can Apple read your iMessages?"