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Apple Off the Hook? FBI Gains Access to San Bernardino iPhone and Drops Demands

dgstorm

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The Department of Justice reported late yesterday that they had gained access to the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. Because of this, they are dropping their court case which sought to force Apple to open the phone for them.

The court filing to drop the FBI demands against Apple did not specify how they gained access to the device, nor what they found on it (if anything). Interestingly, the Feds have actually refused to identify which third party hacked the iPhone for them, even though it was widely reported that the security company Cellebrite had been hired by them.

Officials also declined to share whether this method used to unlock the iPhone 5c can be used to unlock other iPhones. This point was central to Apple's stance against the FBI's court case. Apple argued that they would be forced to create a "master skeleton key" in order to unlock this device which would leave all of their iPhones vulnerable.

A large number of Silicon Valley tech conglomerates (including Google, Facebook, Tesla and others) filed an official motion in support of Apple's stance against the FBI's court order. The other big reason all of these Tech Titans arrayed against the court order was because they felt the order was an unconstitutional overreach designed to give the FBI extra, un-legislated power against its citizens.

Apple responded late Monday, saying the case should have never been pursued against them to begin with. Apple's contention was that it would have set a dangerous precedent. Apple also reiterated their intent to assist with future law enforcement investigations, even as they will continue to enhance the security of their devices. Here's one of Apple's statements,

“Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk."

Here's a quote from the WSJ with a few more final points,

Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman said the FBI "is currently reviewing the information on the phone, consistent with standard investigatory procedures."

The Justice spokeswoman also signaled that while this particular phone is no longer at issue, the broader fight over encryption-protected technology is likely to continue.

So, is it easily forgotten and time to move on? This is likely an issue which will come up again, so we will leave it up for you folks to discuss what the future holds.
 

ffarl

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I definitely like that Apple stuck to their guns. I kind of think this was always going to be the outcome though. It was a pretty obvious power grab by the government, and iPhone users is a pretty big group of people to tick off all at once. All's well that ends well. For now...
 
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dgstorm

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Here's Apple's full response, for those who are interested,

"From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.

We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.

Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.

This case raised issues, which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion."
 

JohnnyApple

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I'm very happy that apple stood their ground and defended our rights. I'm very sad that it came to this. The government used to be FOR the people, now it seems they do whatever they want and have no care for the rights of the people. Apple is right, the case never shouldn't have happened in the first place. Shame on the FBI for trying to use a tragedy to sway public opinion and coercing citizens into giving up their rights in exchange for a false promise of "security" at the cost of their privacy.
 

scifan57

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I'd be real interested in knowing if the exploit used by the firm that cracked the iPhone for the FBI is workable only on iPhone 5s and older or on every iPhone.
 

brixtonboy

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I was told my a person on here that an iPhone it self stores no data, but l have an iPhone 3GS with no sim card in it no net turn it on go to contacts and there they are, for anyone to see.
If you wish l can prove it, but J.A must first look to verify l don't want to give away contacts details.




Gregory Isaacs r.i.p.
 

J. A.

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I was told my a person on here that an iPhone it self stores no data, but l have an iPhone 3GS with no sim card in it no net turn it on go to contacts and there they are, for anyone to see.
If you wish l can prove it, but J.A must first look to verify l don't want to give away contacts details.

Gregory Isaacs r.i.p.
That's not necessary.
Are the contacts still there when you delete your email addresses, in Settings - Mail, Contacts, Calendars, or disable Contacts in your main email account?
 

brixtonboy

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I have no idea how or why, l just took my card out and put the iPhone in a box. And then 2 weeks ago turned it on, after what must have been a year or so.
Pressed contacts and there there are, naturally a little outdated but there none the less, no card, no net.




Gregory Isaacs r.i.p.
 

J. A.

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I have no idea how or why, l just took my card out and put the iPhone in a box. And then 2 weeks ago turned it on, after what must have been a year or so.
Pressed contacts and there there are, naturally a little outdated but there none the less, no card, no net.




Gregory Isaacs r.i.p.
That's because they were synced to your iPhone via email account. If you remove the account, the contacts will disappear as well.
 

brixtonboy

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But they are on the iPhone at the moment for anyone to see, point being that l must remove the account, how do l do that if l am tot ?


Gregory Isaacs r.i.p.
 

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