Last month we told you about a court battle between Apple and the US Government, over access to an iPhone. It was looking like things were about to get messy, with Apple refusing to help the FBI crack the device of San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook.
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But now it looks like the FBI is having the last laugh, after cancelling the law suit and hacking into the device on their own. This was a completely unexpected turn of events and is a bad sign for the general privacy and security of Apple users everywhere. In response the company has said that they will both:
…continue to increase the security of its products.
And simultaneously provide help the government where they deem it appropriate:
…as we have done all along.
They went on to reiterate concerns they have previously raised by stating that the case should never have happened in the first place – addressing the debate over digital privacy rights that followed the original court order.
The worst thing about this whole scenario is that there are other, lower profile incidents of authorities across the US wanting to access individual devices. And now that the FBI has figured out how to crack one of them, it’s likely they can share their secret with other forces. Maybe not such a bad thing if the person in question is guilty, but what about if they aren’t? It’s a basic invasion of privacy that ought not to be happening.
Let’s hope Apple find out how the FBI hacked the phone and that they patch it up quickly. I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before another case like this hits the news.
Personally, I don’t trust the FBI – not after reading this letter they sent Martin Luther King, anyway.