Update: Apple questions FBI's method of unlocking San Bernardino - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Update: Apple questions FBI's method of unlocking San Bernardino shooter's phone

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WASHINGTON (KUSI) — Wednesday —First, the FBI wanted information from Apple. Now, the tech company wants info from the FBI. 

Apple wants to know how the FBI managed to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist, Syed Farook.

The Feds used a third party to break into the phone instead of Apple.

The tech company is afraid the FBI might have exploited a security flaw that could put customer information at risk.

As of now, the FBI is not showing any interest in helping Apple.

Tuesday — The FBI has hacked into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone without the help of Apple.

An unnamed third party unlocked the phone and was able to retrieve all data and information on it for the FBI, which is not being analyzed.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said the FBI will drop the court order that demanded Apple help them unlock it.

But Apple is not letting down, saying the FBI is threatening peoples' security.

FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth sat down with Good Morning San Diego to talk about the struggle the government has had in keeping up with technology.  

Authorities have yet to comment on whether the technique used to unlock the phone would be applied to other encrypted devices. They have also not said if the method would be shared with Apple. 

Monday — The FBI announced Monday they were able to gain access to the content inside one of the San Bernardino shooter's iPhones, using an unnamed third party.

"The FBI has now successfully retrieved the data stored on the San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple required by this Court Order," DOJ spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in a statement.

3/21/2016 — The Department of Justice announced Monday they may have found a way to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooting terrorists.

The DOJ and Apple have been fighting over privacy issues regarding unlocking a secured iPhone, but on Monday, the DOJ announced they may no longer need Apple's help.

"On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook's iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc."

This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.

2/26/2016 — A United Nations official is sending out a warning, saying if Apple is forced to comply with the government's request, it could have a dire impact across the globe.

The FBI has been in a dispute with Apple to unlock an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Apple's lawyers said the company does not have that capability and doing so would jeopardize privacy laws.

The U.S. High Commissioner said the case is more than just this shooting and says it is about drawing a red line to safeguard citizens from criminals.

2/22/2016 — New York U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled Monday the U.S. Justice Department cannot force Apple to provide the FBI with data from a locked iPhone.

The decision follows a California magistrate judge's order requiring Apple to create software to help the U.S. hack the iPhone of a shooter in the Dec. 2 killing of 14 people in San Bernardino, according to The Associated Press. 

2/19/2016 — Apple CEO Time Cook held his first stockholder meeting since the clash with the FBI began, but instead of talking about stocks, he began by talking about privacy.

One day ahead of Friday's deadline, the tech giant formally challenged a court order Thursday that would have forced the company to unlock an encrypted iPhone used by a shooter in the San Bernardino terror attacks.

At Friday's meeting, Cook said it was the right thing to do.

While Apple is concerned that this sets a dangerous precedent, the FBI said this is a one-time case.

"Where the government's headed appears to be limitless. It appears to believe, the government appears to believe, that it can require with a court order from a magistrate someplace, and ask anybody to stop what they're doing, to devote their intellectual property and their services to create something that would invade your privacy and invade your secrecy," said Ted Olson, an attorney for Apple.

The federal government has until March 10 to respond to Apple's challenge. 

2/18/2016 — Tech giant, Apple, submitted a request Thursday to a federal magistrate.

They're trying to reverse the federal mandate for the company to help the FBI hack into the iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist Sayed Farook.

Apple executive said that if they help the government hack into the iPhone, it sets a dangerous precedent.

"Nothing in federal law allows the courts, at the request of prosecutors, to coercively deputize Apple and other companies to serve as a permanent arm of the government's forensics lab," Apple stated in court documents.

It also said that the court's request violated its First Amendment right to free speech -- arguing that writing code is protected speech under the Constitution. "When Apple designed iOS 8, it wrote code that announced the value it placed on data security and the privacy of citizens by omitting a back door," the filing stated.

2/17/2016 — Apple Inc. announced Wednesday they would challenge the federal court order that would require them to help the F.B.I. unlock an iPhone used by one of the two attackers in the San Bernardino shooting.

According to the New York Times, Apple's Chief Executive, Timothy D. Cook, stated they would not comply with Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym's order to provide special software that would essentially act as a skeleton key capable of unlocking the phone. 

"Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data ... We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create," Cook said in a statement Wednesday. 

Asked about Apple’s resistance, the Justice Department pointed to a statement by Eileen M. Decker, the United States attorney for the Central District of California: “We have made a solemn commitment to the victims and their families that we will leave no stone unturned as we gather as much information and evidence as possible. These victims and families deserve nothing less.”

According to NYT, the F.B.I said that its experts had been unable to access data on Mr. Farook’s iPhone, and that only Apple could bypass its security features. F.B.I. experts have said they risk losing the data permanently after 10 failed attempts to enter the password because of the phone’s security features.

2/16/2016 — A U.S. magistrate ordered Apple Tuesday to help the Obama administration hack into the iPhone that belonged to one of the two San Bernardino shooters.

According to the Associated press, the ruling by Sheri Pym requires Apple to supply specialized software to the FBI that they can load onto the phone to break security encryption features that erases data after too many unsuccessful unlocking attempts.

Federal prosecutors told the judge they can't access a county-owned work phone used by Syed Farook because they don't know his passcode, according to AP. 

Apple encrypts their iPhones to allow them only to be accessed using a passcode.

Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in a Dec. 2 shooting at a holiday luncheon for Farook's co-workers. The couple later died in a police gun battle.



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