FBI Once Again Seeks Apple’s Help, This time to Unlock Suspected Florida Shooters iPhone

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Apple has always stood its grounds when it comes to privacy. The company went loggerheads with the FBI during the San Bernardino shooting case. Now FBI has put Apple in a similar situation and has asked help tp unlock two iPhones that were owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man accused of killing three people at a Naval Air Station in Florida.

FBI has sent a letter to Apple’s general counsel and has said that it has already obtained permission from the court to search the contents of the phones. However, the FBI also notes that both phones are password protected and it needs Apple’s help to break into phones. Apparently “Investigators are actively engaging in efforts to ‘guess’ the relevant passcodes but so far have been unsuccessful.”

As it happened earlier, the FBI might utilize the services of the third party. In fact, it has already sought help from other federal agencies and the list includes those from foreign countries. Earlier, the FBI had dragged Apple to court when the latter refused to open the locked phone of San Bernardino shooter.

Apple has issued a statement that reads “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement and have always worked cooperatively to help in their investigations,” they further added that “When the FBI requested information from us relating to this case a month ago, we gave them all of the data in our possession and we will continue to support them with the data we have available.”

Our Take

It is also worth noting that the deputy who killed Alsharami has fired a round into the iPhone. In all likelihood, it will be much more difficult for anyone to retrieve data from a damaged iPhone. As far as the San Bernardino case was concerned, the FBI pushed Apple to create an unencrypted version of iOS and install it on the phone. Apple stood its ground and the FBI withdrew the case after it found a vendor who would help them gain access to the iPhone.

[via NBCNews]