Court case delayed as FBI tries to crack Apple encryption - Mobile World Live

Court case delayed as FBI tries to crack Apple encryption

22 MAR 2016

An unidentified third party stepped forward offering to find a back door into the iPhone for the FBI, as a federal judge agreed to postpone today’s hearing so the organisation can test the technique.

The Department of Justice agreed to update the court on its progress on 5 April.

Previously the US government had no way to hack the iPhone used by one of the two killers in the December massacre in San Bernardino, except to force Apple to create a backdoor into the device.

Apple refused, hence the legal battle. But if the mysterious party from outside the US government succeeds then the picture changes dramatically.

However, security experts expressed scepticism that the government ever lacked the ability to break into the iPhone.

“From a purely technical perspective, one of the most fragile parts of the government’s case is the claim that Apple’s help is required to unlock the phone,” said Matt Blaze, a professor and computer security expert from the University of Pennsylvania. Blaze was quoted by Reuters.

“Many in the technical community have been sceptical that this is true, especially given the government’s considerable resources,” he added.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the issue at yesterday’s launch, asserting that the company “never expected to be at odds with our own government”, and said it was time to define, as a government and nation, how much “data the government should have access to”.

“We believe we have a position to protect your data. We will not shrink from this responsibility,” he added.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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