In a move sure to irk government law enforcement agencies, Apple announced Wednesday that it would offer fully encrypted backups of photos, message histories, and most other user data in its global cloud storage system.

Emerging from years of government pressure, Apple has, at last, put its users' most sensitive data out of reach of most hackers, spies, and law enforcement. Apple already has end-to-end encryption for iMessages between Apple devices, making it impossible for a phone service provider, police with a warrant, or even Apple itself to read the messages.

Now, Apple will offer the same encryption service for all iCloud data, seeking to cement its reputation as the most reliable phone and computer company in terms of safeguarding privacy.

Apple had previously encrypted users' passwords, credit card information, and health data that they stored on the cloud, but will now offer protection for photos, notes, and, most importantly, iCloud backups.

According to the Washington Post, Apple says the decision was made due to the rising threat of extortion or embarrassment that has come along as iCloud data remained vulnerable.

After detecting rising attempts by hackers to breach cloud providers, Apple concluded end-to-end encryption would be the safest option for iCloud users.

The decision will likely draw the ire of multiple governments, who for years have fought against strong encryption, citing security risks. In 2020, the FBI asked Apple to unlock two iPhones belonging to a suspect in a deadly military base shooting. Apple declined to help.

Apple's cloud encryption feature is available right now for users enrolled in Apple's Beta Software Program. It will be available to all United States users by the end of the year and will start rolling out globally in early 2023.