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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