FBI director says it only wants Apple to create a mechanism that allows unlimited passcode attempts on San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone


The Director of the FBI, James Comey, has written a chilling letter that addresses why the FBI wants Apple to unlock the iPhone 5c of the San Bernardino shooter. Comey makes it clear that the FBI is not trying to “set a precedent or send any kind of message.” This whole issue is about the victims of the shooting and making sure that they receive the justice they are entitled to.

He further says that the legal issue here is “quite narrow” and the help they want from Apple is limited and with the ever evolving technology, it will become obsolete in no time. He further says that the FBI only wants the chance to try and “guess the terrorist’s passcode” without the phone automatically wiping its content after a certain amount of time to prevent the data stored on the phone.

The director makes it clear that the FBI does not want to break “anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land.” He proceeds to say that without following up on the only lead they have, the FBI cannot look the survivors in the eye, or themselves in the mirror.

In the end, he urges that neither Apple not FBI should be the ultimate decision maker here. Instead, it should be the Americans who get to decide what they want and make sure that they strike a perfect balance between cutting edge technology and safety.

Earlier today, a memo written by Tim Cook to Apple employees revealed that the CEO has asked the FBI to drop their request to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter.

Looking at how things have shaped up over the last one week, it is quite clear that the FBI is not going to back down on its request and Apple is also not going to compromise on the security of its products and privacy of its customers. What do you think Apple should do here?

[Via Lawfare Blog]