Federal Judge Tells Apple to Unlock San Berardino Shooter’s iPhone

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On December 2, 2015, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik entered a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and opened fire, murdering 14 innocent civilians and wounding 22 more. Farook and Malik were killed hours later in a shootout with the police.

Authorities are still looking for information surrounding this attack.

“Since the terrorist attack in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, that took the lives of 14 innocent Americans and shattered the lives of numerous families, my office and our law enforcement partners have worked tirelessly to exhaust every investigative lead in the case.” -United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker

Of course, with any modern terrorism investigation, digital communication comes in to play. Authorities recovered several cell phones the shooters had tried to destroy. They also found an intact iPhone in a car belonging to Farook’s family. The phone was owned by San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, Farook’s employer.

The iPhone is owned by Farook’s employer, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, which assigned it to him. The county consented to investigators’ requests to search its contents. Investigators have been able to obtain backups from Farook’s iCloud account, yet the backups ceased nearly two months before the attack. Prosecutors think that Farook disabled the iCloud sync to hide evidence. iCloud is not exactly known for it’s security.

With a warrant to search the device, and the permission of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, the iPhone’s lawful owner, Apple has still refused to unlock the phone.

Today a federal judge ruled that Apple had to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to recover data from the iPhone. Apple has 5 days to respond if it deems this to be “unreasonably burdensome”.

14 dead, 22 seriously injured, countless family members and friends destroyed at the hands of terror. An iPhone may hold info about what led to this, and what more may be involved. A warrant, the rightful phone’s owner, and a court order by a federal judge asking Apple to help get this information off an iPhone used by a dead terrorist.

Come on Apple, this time, do the right thing.

Source: NBC News

Brad

BlackBerry Elite Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs and UTB Geek. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.

  • SipoKapumba

    Interesting. I guess apple will finally comply. Maybe, they are trying to show that they don’t just cooperate with government investigators without putting up a legal fight “to defend the iPhone users rights”, suspected terrorist or not.

  • Schmurf

    Perhaps it’s Apple’s way of garnering some free publicity. Of course it’s done at someone else’s expense.

  • nnik

    Apple is trying to give people a false sense of security by blocking law enforcement. They will likely say they can’t do anything. The reality is the Apple isn’t all that secure. It’s just that law enforcement won’t hack because that’s illegal

  • Trev

    Just as it’s easiest to gain entry through a locked door via a key, I’m sure the feds are going to try that route first before blowing their own way in.

    I agree that this isn’t so much an issue of “can’t hack an iPhone” (because we’ve seen that isn’t the case) as it is simply going in the least destructive way first.
    Not to mention the legality of finding potential cohorts (or other incriminating evidence), only to have evidence not admissible in court due to data breaching.

  • TRUENORTH

    The salient point, which the press is not stating ( surprise surprise as they are all i-phone users) is that the police must ask apple to open the phone so that the courts will not rule that any evidence gathered was not illegally obtained and thusly unacceptable to the courts.
    The police could give any teenaged hacker $20 to open the phone and probably has already. However, the evidence that is probably in their hands already, would be tossed out by the judge. The reality is that Apple has little to no security on their phones and even the NSA has a back door. The ruminations on the part of Apple are merely an attempt to turn the situation into proof of their non-existent security.

  • Berry_Goooood

    In typical Tim Crook fashion, Apple has denied the request. Was anyone really surprised? Apple values your “privacy” *cough* money *cough* over your (and millions of other innocent people’s) safety.

  • Martin

    So Apple values the privacy of a known killer who took innocent lives…how low will Apple go to seek media attention!?

  • bartron

    Apple’s opposition to the court order is nothing more than a PR stunt. I’m sure they have every intention of complying with the court order, but they’re deciding to use the situation as an opportunity to repeat their claim that they care about security and privacy. It’s just a smoke screen.

    • fishlove73

      I agree Bartron. Apple privacy and security is laughable and this is nothing more than Apple capitalizing on a horrible situation by falsely advocating privacy. In which, they have demonstrated over and over again that they are not very good at.

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