FBI vs Apple : A new twist; FBI says that they don’t need Apple’s help


In a new court filing, the government said an outside party had demonstrated a way for the F.B.I. to possibly unlock the phone used by the gunman, Syed Rizwan Farook. The hearing in the contentious case — Apple has loudly opposed opening the iPhone, citing privacy concerns and igniting a heated debate — was originally set for Tuesday.

FBI to Apple: We don't need your iPhone hack
FBI to Apple: We don’t need your iPhone hack

While the Justice Department must test this method, if it works “it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple,” it said in its filing. The Justice Department added that it would file a status report by April 5 on its progress.

During a conference call with reporters, Apple attorneys indicated that they would insist on talking to the whoever is providing the exploit and wants to know about the vulnerability if the government insists on keeping the case alive. Which it probably won’t.

Apple attorneys also noted that at this point it’s impossible for the government to argue its original case that only Apple could get past of the security of the iPhone in question. If the DoJ drops the case, Apple has no legal way of asking for that information.

The new method could forestall, but is unlikely to entirely head off, a showdown between Silicon Valley and the Justice Department over encryption.

“This will only delay an inevitable fight over whether the government can force Apple to break the security of its devices,” said Alex Abdo, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, an advocacy group.

At its spring event announcing new products earlier on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook vowed to stand strong against the government’s efforts to conscript it into helping break into iPhones. “This is an issue that impacts all of us, and we will not shrink from this responsibility,” Cook said. Apple also announced a new 4-inch iPhone model — the iPhone 6SE — that has all the latest encryption and security features inside, in addition to releasing an updated version of the software that runs its phones, iOS, that patches a hole in the end-to-end encryption offered in the iMessage app.

In the meantime, some US lawmakers are looking for another avenue to force cooperation in similar cases in the future. A group of US senators has begun circulating draft legislation that would give federal judges the authority to order technology companies like Apple to help law enforcement officials access encrypted data, sources familiar with the discussions tell Reuters.

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    1. Tim Cook: “We need to decide as a nation how much power the gov’t should have over our data”

      Apple CEO Tim Cook Addresses Encryption Battle With FBI
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      Silicon Angel@SiliconAngel 11 hrs11 hours ago

      U.S. moves to postpone hearing in Apple vs. FBI case: The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday moved to postpo… bit.ly/1ZlUNjm

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    1. Eugene KasperskyVerified account@e_kaspersky 1 hr1 hour ago

      FBI drops its case against #Apple and suggests it may have help from “outside party” to crack terrorist’s phone: kas.pr/8zrz

    1. The FBI might be able to hack an iPhone without Apple‘s help after all:

    1. FBI say they can unlock terrorists Apple phone-good, Apple should not have sided with the terrorists

  3. FBI Asks to Delay Apple Trial, Might Have Another Way to Unlock Attacker’s iPhone

  4. Surprise! The FBI doesn’t need Apple to unlock that iPhone after all

    1. FBI says it may not need Apple to hack iPhone, asks court to cancel hearing:

    1. Apple wants to know how the FBI will hack its phone

  5. To recap: The FBI didn’t accomplish anything except giving Apple a very good reason to increase the security of their devices. Well done!

  6. I was able to report on FBI climbdown re Apple bc my wife fed & bathed our kid before we put her to bed. Single parents are superheroes.

  7. By my count, the g’ment alleged only Apple could get into the phone at least 14 times across its assorted filings.

  8. BREAKING: FBI working with an outside party to unlock terrorist’s iPhone that Apple refused to assist with

  9. BREAKING: Court: Hearing between feds, Apple canceled as FBI works with ‘outside party’ to unlock phone.

    1. The FBI has been granted a delay for planned hearing to force Apple to unlock San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone

  10. FBI says it may have found a way to unlock San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone without Apple‘s assistance

  11. Just asked if he told the FBI how to get into the Apple iPhone. Response: “not saying.”

  12. FBI Says It May Be Able To Access Shooter’s iPhone Without Apple‘s Help

  13. It’s like Apple was crushing the FBI in a video game, so now the FBI is asking the judge to turn off the console.

    1. The FBI says it might not need Apple to unlock terrorist’s phone anymore

  14. US asking to delay Apple/FBI hearing set for tmrw to test possible other methods for unlocking iPhone via

  15. Kind of sad FBI is pulling out prematurely. Apple would have destroyed them in court. Was looking forward to that ruling.

    1. The government just moved to vacate tomorrow’s hearing in Apple v FBI. Seems they’re abandoning this as a test case!

  16. Apple, FBI to battle in court for first time on Tuesday

    1. PAPER: If APPLE loses, can ‘no longer trust gadgets’…

    1. Tim Cook: “We need to decide as a nation how much power the gov’t should have over our data”

    1. Tim Cook opens Apple launch by talking about the FBI case: “We have a responsibility to help you protect your data”

    1. Letter on FBI v. Apple sent to the New York Times by a sixth-grader from Chicago.

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