The FBI requested Apple develop firmware offering a work around the passcode on an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino shooter. The FBI swore up and down they only wanted access in this special case, to this one iPhone 5C. Turns out our worse fears are coming true. The Justice Department is pushing for Apple to unlock no less than 12 iPhones ranging from the iPhone 3 to iPhone 6 Plus’s.
The report also mentions how Apple has dealt with the request by what Tim Cook called “chilling.” According to a prosecutors letter filed in New York, the company “simply deferred complying with them, without seeking appropriate judicial relief.” Apple’s decision to go public and fight the request for the San Bernardino shooter was to stop these requests along with gaining support from other the public and fellow tech companies. While the public perception of this case is spilt, many CEO have come out supporting Apple and their ultimate mission of keeping privacy a top concern of their company.
With these request for Apple to unlock these phones, and essentially create a backdoor for the FBI, the governments cases of unlocking one phone is blown wide open. Apple was right when they said complying to the court order would create a precedent and put users privacy at risk. We also know the FBI was downright lying about wanting only one iPhone unlocked, and wouldn’t keep the software from the unlock. They went after a case they thought couldn’t win against public pressure, but this new information with ignite a flame within the technology community to lobby and create a set of laws preventing the FBI from ever doing this again.
Now where the FBI goes with all of these court cases is uncertain. They could have compelled Apple at anytime to unlock the phones with trade sanctions, fines, or more drastic steps but they chose to not follow-up. With all the cases in the open the FBI will have to make a choose over the next few days or appear weak and wrong. The news of this will hopefully let the vernal public understand the FBI wants to bypass security and it’s not just about “one” iPhone, it’s about the great security of encryption.