FBI Admits Error In San Bernardino iPhone Case, Apple Still Not Unlocking Phone
The FBI has admitted an error in the case involving the San Bernardino iPhone as Apple continues to refuse to break into the phone. The mistake happened within 24 hours of the shooting on December 2, 2015, but was only revealed on Tuesday.
According to the New York Times, head of the FBI, James B. Comey Jr., admitted that the iPhone unlocking mistake had been made. Within 24 hours of the shooting, employees attempted to crack the phone’s iCloud by resetting the password. They believed it would give them direct access to see if there were any details that would help them locate possible other terrorists and any plots. However, it did the opposite, locking the team out of the phone entirely. This has led to the need for Apple to break through the encryption on the phone.
iOS 8 introduced the encryption abilities that would mean even Apple employees would not be able to help iPhone customers. The aim was to limit the amount of iPhones that would be stolen and to protect access to the online storage service following the leaks of celebrity nude photos. The Inquisitr previously reported that Tim Cook says new code would need to be created to break into the San Bernardino iPhone, and he is unwilling to create it, as it would breach the privacy of innocent people.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 3, 2016
There have been mixed reviews over this case. Utah Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz questions just how much privacy would be given up for security. Some lawmakers support Apple’s stance on privacy, but others have said that it could lead to an increased threat to national security. There are also concerns over the evolving code for new versions of the iOS operating system. The authorities may not get important information for cases in the future due to this.
Apple continues to defend its decision not to create the new code. Bruce Sewell, a general council member for the tech giant, says that to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone would “set a dangerous precedent” for the future. The government could use it in the future to intrude on the privacy of other U.S. citizens, and this is unfair. It could also be used by hackers to get into the phone of innocent, unsuspecting people.
In the past, Apple has turned over some information from the iCloud to authorities. Police have also used other methods to get crucial information, so Apple does not believe this is necessary.
The case continues, but Apple has recently received confirmation that it will not need to comply with all demands from the U.S. Department of Justice. While this was a different case, it does set some precedent for the ongoing case with the FBI.
“There’s already a door on that iPhone. Essentially, we’re saying to Apple ‘take the vicious guard dog away and let us pick the lock.'”
While admitting the error with trying to reset the iCloud password, the FBI said that it did not want a backdoor opened. What it wanted was for Apple to “remove the vicious guard dog” so it could pick the lock on the front door. The ability to get into the iCloud is there, and Apple needs to work with the FBI to get in there.
At the same time, the FBI cannot confirm that there is anything of value on the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino shooters. There is the possibility that the husband and wife duo had connections to Islamic terrorists, but there is no solid proof. The FBI has also said it would like access to the GPS to see where the two went within the 18 minutes between the shooting and being killed themselves.
Apple and others now believe that the FBI may have hurt its case by admitting to the fault in trying to break into the San Bernardino iPhone online storage.
[Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images]