Apple’s historic court battle with the FBI fizzled out with the news of the police organization finally breaking into the iPhone 5C. The FBI said Monday it had used a new method to bypass the lock code and “no longer requires the assistance from Apple” as mandated by the court’s order.
At the most basic level, Apple won the battle with the FBI and managed to sidestep a long drawn out court battle. The FBI wouldn’t name the “outside party” that helped them hack into the iPhone 5C, but many experts have claimed Cellebrite, an Israeli-based digital forensic company with many ties to the U.S. government helped them access the iPhone. The claims haven’t been confirmed or denied by the FBI, but BuzzFeed has shown documents where they’re paying the company.
Apple had a PR battle in refusing to help unlock the phone, as many folks claimed Apple was helping the terrorist evade police. While they FBI claimed they only wanted one iPhone unlocked but we knew they wanted to create a precedent to unlock future iPhones or any encrypted cell phone. Overall the end of the battle takes the spotlight off Apple (at least for now)
Overall the end of the battle takes the spotlight off Apple (at least for now), and continues the encryption and backdoor debate. The public perception is towards allowing backdoors, but when people are told all the implications they start to rethink if a backdoor even to stop terrorism. I’ve taken the side of ensuring everyone’s privacy is protected, and if that means sometimes a criminal can hide their data that’s a small price.
The FBI will likely walk away from this battle defeated, but they’re going to look for an easier target. They’ll target a smaller phone manufacturer to bypass the phone’s encryption, and create the precedence to go after Apple in the future.
Tell us in the comments below what you think about the end of this court battle, and if the FBI will come after another phone maker in the future.