This is How the Pros Do It

Remember that whole thing back in February where the FBI was demanding Apple unlock unlock the iPhone 5C of San Bernardino terrorism suspect Syed Rizwan Farook? And Apple told the FBI in so many words to go fuck itself? And then the FBI pussied out and said, “Oh, nevermind, we figured it out ourselves. Fuck YOU.”

Well, here is what the FBI did:

FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that the government had purchased “a tool” from a private party in order to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

“Litigation between the government and Apple over the San Bernardino phone has ended, because the government has purchased, from a private party, a way to get into that phone, 5C, running iOS 9,” Comey said.

Hold up. Does this special, magic software work on any iPhone?

The FBI director also said the purchased tool worked only on a “narrow slice of phones” that does not include the newest Apple models, or the 5S.

I’m just picturing the knuckleheads at the FBI googling “iphone jailbreak software 5c”, clicking on the first search result, and buying a software package for $29.95.

Is this how it went down in reality? Unlikely, but it’s fun to imagine.

Apple Responds to the FBI

The FBI is asking for Apple’s help unlocking the iPhone 5C of San Bernardino terrorism suspect Syed Rizwan Farook.

Tim Cook responded:

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

No way, Jose. This would set a horrible legal precedent.

I’m happy to see Apple standing up for the privacy of their customers.


Law, Technology


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