Today, the Justice Department has asked to postpone the hearing that was scheduled for tomorrow with Apple about the phone of the dead terrorist responsible for the murder of 14 in San Bernardino California.
In the court documents, it is revealed that an unnamed outside party has demonstrated to the FBI a way to unlock the phone without intervention from Apple. The FBI states that it needs to test this to ensure it will not place the information on the iPhone at risk, and has asked for the hearing to be vacated. The government will file a status report with the court by April 5th.
This action raises many questions. Some of the more paranoid are now saying this whole action between the FBI and Apple was nothing more than a publicity stunt orchestrated by Apple with the help of the FBI. While I find this very far fetched, I find it almost comical that the biggest news of the day, is that the iPhone’s encryption may not be as impenetrable as Apple would have you believe. This news has surely overshadowed Apple’s launch event earlier today.
This also begs to question, what will Apple do if this is the case? Will they rush to “fix” the broken encryption? Will the FBI inform Apple how they crack in to the phone? What will Apple’s response be when the government is able to easily open all these phones without Apple’s involvement? This is a question I wondered about during the previous back and forth between Apple and the FBI.
Apple continued to state the FBI should be able to open the phone without their help. If Apple was truly concerned with user’s privacy, wouldn’t they have rather been the holder of the key that could open these phones? Doesn’t Apple’s preference to have the government be able to open the phones without them completely disprove Cook’s statements that Apple is fighting for users privacy?
I believe it does.
See the motion to the court below