The FBI Hacked San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone Without Apple’s Help
The resolution of this case is "just a delay of an inevitable fight" over phone encryption
Lead image via YouTube
The drawn-out legal battle over whether Apple could be forced to provide an encryption backdoor to the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone has finally come to a close. The government has asked a federal judge to vacate a court order demanding that the technology company assist the FBI in hacking into the phone. Apple refused to help hack their own security, arguing that creating a backdoor to the phone’s encryption would easily allow hackers to gain access to users’ private information.
The Justice Department said that the FBI had successfully accessed the phone, and was reviewing the data. It is not currently known exactly how the government managed to gain access to the phone, although it has been reported that an Israeli forensic firm may have helped. Now that the court order has been withdrawn, Apple no longer has the legal right to request information on how the government bypassed its security.
Although this specific legal battle has ended, Apple is still opposing requests to provide access to 14 of their encrypted devices in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. A law enforcement official said that federal agents would aid local and state partners in attempts to access locked phones, which may involve sharing the technique used to hack the San Bernardino iPhone.
“This case should never have been brought,” Apple said in a statement, adding that the case also “raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy.” ACLU attorney Alex Abdo said that the dismissal of the court order in this case was “just a delay of an inevitable fight” over whether the government can demand companies to provide law enforcement unrestricted access to their users’ private information.