The Justice Department has filed a request today to drop their lawsuit against Apple, in which the FBI was attempting to force the technology giant to hack its iOS operating system to allow the FBI to access an encrypted iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
Apple had resisted the effort on the grounds that it would open up not just the single targeted iPhone, but all iPhones to security risks, and that building a backdoor into iPhones would undermine the security of tens of millions of users worldwide.
Since then, reports have emerged that Apple engineers are working to eliminate this issue in future iPhones, aiming to make the phones so secure that even Apple themselves wouldn’t be able to crack them. FBI officials have sought to vilify Apple for the effort, arguing they were using their resistance to FBI demands as a marketing program.
While the request filed with the court only says ambiguously that the FBI “no longer requires” Apple’s help, subsequent media reports have suggested that the FBI has managed to break into the phone through some existing mechanism.
That spares Apple the hassle of a lawsuit, but undercuts their presentation of iPhones as secure products, for much as with Apple’s concern about building a backdoor, if the FBI can break into one iPhone, they may be able to break into them all.
This may put the FBI in a tough spot, however, as the Obama Administration has long championed a system called the “Vulnerabilities Equities Process,” or VEP, which obliges the US government to reveal security flaws it finds in private software to improve security.
The FBI will doubtless prefer to keep their method of breaking into iPhones a state secret, but with the fact that they have done so made public, they will have a difficult time dodging official policy, particularly on such a widely used piece of technology.
6 thoughts on “Justice Dept Drops Lawsuit Against Apple to Hack iPhone”
This is bad news for the people.
Unfortunately, under the USA Patriot Act which the Repugs
jammed through Congress, and nobody, including the spineless
Democrats, bothered to read before voting it into law, makes
it legal for the government to spy on not only the so-called
(terrorists), but ordinary USG citizens as well.
The corporate media spread the lie that the Patriot Act was
created to catch (terrorists). However, the PA actually turns
the average citizen in suspects, by expanding the authority
of the regime to monitor phone and email communications,
collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity
of innocent Americans on the Internet.
Bernie Sanders voted nay.
Bernie is what all politicians should be,
anti-big business and anti-corrupt government.
Nice cover story,but the fact is that Apple “spilled the beans”, but doesn’t want to hurt its customer base by letting them know their “right to privacy” has gone by the wayside.
The smart thing would have been for the DHS to go along with the charade in the hopes of uncovering nefarious communications by terrorists, instead of using what they thought was a “safe” mode.
OK, there’s a factual claim in there: “the fact is …”
Any actual evidence for the claim, or just a gut feeling? My own first thought was very similar.
Or, the FBI just gave up figuring that the bad publicity wasn’t worth whatever they could find on the phone.
It could just be a PSYOP making folks (terrorists) believe the had found a way past the io6 security features, which is almost just as good as having done so.
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