FBI Accesses Terrorist’s Phone, Drops Lawsuit Against Apple

 In Technology

FBI Accesses Terrorist’s Phone, Drops Lawsuit Against Apple

The DOJ announced on Monday that it no longer needs Apple’s help in accessing Syed Farook’s iPhone, so it has asked the court to vacate the order. A “third party” reportedly outside the government helped them with their quest.

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Catch 22

I don’t know about you, but this is a kind of catch-22 situation. On the one hand, knowing the terrorists secrets is important. On the other hand, now they can break into anyone’s iPhone.

The issue with an iPhone is the built in encryption and data protection that wipes all the information if the phone is lost or stolen. It is that feature that had the FBI stumped- if they tried a brute force entry, more than 10 tries and the information they were looking for would be irretrievable.

Court battle

As we previously reported, the FBI got a court order that would have forced the company to give them the software to hack into the iPhone, but Apple refused. Then Apple got a counter order that said they didn’t have to help the FBI.

It was a tense court battle until Monday, when the FBI said never mind, we don’t need Apple’s help. It is unknown who the third party was that helped them. Nor were they forthcoming about what they found, if anything.

Fox reported,

As to whether DOJ will apply this method to other cases involving locked iPhones, a law enforcement official said Monday night that FBI is focused on the San Bernardino case and that they could not comment on the possibility of future disclosures at this time. 

The official added that it would be premature to say anything about DOJ’s ability to access other phones through this method at this point, only adding that FBI knows that it works on the iPhone 5C that belonged to the San Bernardino gunman which was running iOS 9.

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