The FBI Could Access The iPhones At The Center Of The Latest Apple v. FBI Fight At Any Time….. So Why Don’t They?

Yesterday I posted a story about the latest Apple v. FBI fight in which I called for some sort of middle ground that would stop stuff like this from happening. In the last few hours, this story has evolved.

First US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to push for the unlocking of the iPhones that are at the center of this fight:

And at about the same time, it came to light that the iPhones that are at the center of this are an iPhone 5 variant and an iPhone 7 variant. Why is that important? Well, the FBI already has the ability to unlock them without needing Apple to do it for them. Whether the FBI via a company like Cellebrite who was the company that the FBI used to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5C a few years ago gets it done, or using a device like the ones sold by Grayshift which allegedly the FBI already owns, or using a vulnerability called “checkm8” that is present in every iPhone up until the iPhone X, the FBI could unlock these phones at any time.

So why are the FBI and Trump demanding Apple unlock these phones? It’s simple:

  • If Apple could somehow do this, it would set a precedent and the FBI would in theory have the ability to access any iPhone. Including current models which are much harder to crack.
  • If Apple refuses then they could push Congress to create legislation to force Apple to give them the ability to access any iPhone they want by painting them as the bad guy.

The fact is that this fight isn’t about these specific iPhones, it’s as I said yesterday about being able to access any iPhone of anybody that is of interest to them. And the FBI and company are just leveraging these iPhones to get to that end goal. This has nuanced my view of this situation a bit. I still feel that there needs to be some sort of middle ground when it comes to situations like this. But this is a pretty brazen and cynical attempt to get more than a compromise when it comes to this issue. It will be interesting to see what happens when this ends up in court. Which it will.

One Response to “The FBI Could Access The iPhones At The Center Of The Latest Apple v. FBI Fight At Any Time….. So Why Don’t They?”

  1. […] the FBI wants Apple to unlock an iPhone 5 and 7 that belongs to a suspect in a terror incident, despite they fact that the FBI has the ability to do this on their own without Apple’s involvement, comes news that the FBI has apparently got the capability to […]

Leave a Reply to Seeing As The FBI Has Unlocked An iPhone 11, Why Do They Need Apple’s Help To Unlock An iPhone 5 & 7? | The IT Nerd Cancel reply

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