monday, 19 september of 2016

Three news outlets sue FBI over apple decryption case

USA Today, the Associated Press and Vice Media on Friday filed a federal complaint against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeking to learn how the government was able to overcome Syed Farook's iPhone's encryption allegedly without Apple's help.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) initially filed suit against Apple in an attempt to force them to unlock Farook's iPhone after he was involved in the San Bernardino killings.

In March, the DOJ dropped the case against Apple, stating that they had another method of unlocking the phone.

Apple's refusal to assist the government sparked controversy over digital privacy rights, which came to an anticlimactic end when the FBI used a third-party tool to overcome the iPhone's security measures.

Now, the media outlets seek to know what third-party tool was used, to what extent it may be used in the future and what security vulnerabilities the tool takes advantage of.

At the end of February Apple filed a brief in the US District Court for the Central District of California in opposition of the US government's request for the company to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter, Syed Rizwan Farook.

Counsel for Apple called the case "unprecedented" after the DOJ filed a motion to compel Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone. In response to the legal conflict, Apple asked the US government to create a panel of experts to discuss issues of security versus privacy.

The court order required Apple to supply software to the FBI to disable a self-destruct feature that erases phone data after 10 failed attempts to enter the phone's password.

(Published by Jurist - September 17, 2016)

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