FBI could ‘by­pass’ Ap­ple to un­lock San Bernardino iPhone

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The FBI has said it may no longer need Ap­ple’s as­sis­tance in open­ing the locked iPhone be­long­ing to an at­tacker in De­cem­ber’s San Bernardino, Cal­i­for­nia shoot­ing. As re­ported by the BBC, a court hear­ing with Ap­ple sched­uled for Tues­day was post­poned at the re­quest of the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice, af­ter fed­eral au­thor­i­ties said they may have found a way to un­lock the smart­phone with­out Ap­ple’s co­op­er­a­tion.

Ap­ple has so far re­fused to com­pro­mise the en­cryp­tion of its devices, claim­ing that do­ing so would set a dan­ger­ous prece­dent. “The re­al­ity is if you put a back­door in, that back­door is for ev­ery­body – for good guys and bad guys,” said Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook last year.

The court case it­self may now be ir­rel­e­vant, af­ter an “out­side party” ap­proached the FBI claim­ing it could un­lock the iPhone. The govern­ment has un­til April 5 to de­cide whether it wants to pur­sue the case, which – if it can’t break Ap­ple’s en­cryp­tion – will re­sume as nor­mal.

Should the case be dropped, how­ever, the Guardian re­ports that Ap­ple will not be treat­ing the de­vel­op­ment as a le­gal vic­tory. With the cen­tral is­sues sur­round­ing ac­cess and en­cryp­tion still un­re­solved, it could be just a mat­ter of time be­fore they resur­face.

More­over, if the govern­ment is able to open the locked de­vice, a new ques­tion arises over whether fed­eral au­thor­i­ties are ob­li­gated to share the se­cu­rity flaw with Ap­ple, which would surely then patch it.

The con­tro­ver­sial case has sent rip­ples through the tech in­dus­try, with many large com­pa­nies re­cently look­ing to bol­ster their en­cryp­tion.

Mean­while, as noted by the New York Times, Ap­ple con­tin­ued to em­pha­sise the value that the com­pany places on pri­vacy at its prod­uct launch event this week.

“This is an is­sue that im­pacts all of us and we shall not re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Cook said. shrink from is re­ported to this have

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