A newly unsealed court document shows the Justice Department is pursuing court orders to make Apple. help investigators extract data from iPhones in another 12 cases. Similar to the current battle over a terrorist’s locked phone
Many were worried that a simple one time request for Apple’s assistance in the San Bernardino iPhone case would open the floodgates. Today those worries look like they have some foundation.
Already the FBI and the Department of Justice are filing court orders across the United States now in the hope of forcing Apple to extract iPhone data in a dozen further criminal investigations.
The original filing for what the FBI director has asked is publicly available online (thanks Karl Madden for the link)
Tim Cook posted an open post – A letter for our customers on February 16th setting out why it’s a bad idea to open up an iPhone under any circumstances, even the tradgic San Fernando case. Tim Cook has stated more than once, opening an iPhone could potentially set “a dangerous precedent.” and is fighting the court order to comply.
This case appears to be going in the direction that CEO Tim Cook feared and predicted in his open letter to Apple customers when the original order was made by the federal circuit in the United States. Rather than focusing purely on San Bernardino case, the Department of Justice is now requesting Apple’s assistance in gaining entry to approximately a dozen more iPhones that are part of criminal investigation with none involving terrorism charges.
As you might expect, Apple is continuing to defend itself and fight its own corner, and doesn’t seem like the company is in any mood to concede its current stance on the right to ship and create strong security on all devices running iOS.
Opening Pandoras Box
This is becoming the cliche statement attached to all of this. Already in the space of a week we’ve gone from 1 device to 12. Wouldnt be too hard to imagine that 12 will go up and up until a security door is baked into iOS.
But now with their demand to Apple to unlock 12 other iPhones, the FBI can at least no longer claim that it’s just about that one iPhone.
Can read a full transcription of the Original Court Filing on February 11th here
Source (wsj – http://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-seeks-to-force-apple-to-extract-data-from-about-12-other-iphones-1456202213_