The FBI Is Back At Apple's Door, Demanding iPhone Password Hack
As of 1/15/2020, Apple has denied the FBI's request, citing the vast amount of information provided already and the risk to public privacy.
The FBI is once again requesting Apple's assistance in helping them unlock the iPhone of a potential terrorist.
The FBI was able to recover two iPhones believed to be owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a suspect in the shooting that killed three people at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida last December. Both of the iPhones are password-protected and agents have been unsuccessful in trying to guess the password.
A letter has been sent to Apple's general counsel stating that they are wanting to search the phone “out of an abundance of caution.” and have not identified last year's attack as an act of terrorism; instead they are hoping to gain access and get some clarity on possible motives or ties to outside organizations. The FBI even mentioned going as far as to asking other federal agencies for help, turning to third-party vendors and even asking experts from other countries to get into these iPhones.
Apple has had a clear stance on being bullied into creating what is known as backdoor mechanisms in order to break into iPhones: The tech giant has the utmost respect for the law, its enforcement and will cooperate with their investigations but creating a hack into an iPhone, or any device, will set a dangerous precedent where the FBI could demand a backdoor into any person's iPhone.
This isn't the first time the two have been at odds; back in 2015, the FBI asked Apple to unlock the phone of Syed Farook, one of the men who carried out the San Bernardino shooting. The tech giant refused then as well but was court-ordered to provide a one-time firmware update, customized for that device, that would let agents brute-force the password. Brute-forcing is a term where you try a whole bunch of passwords in the hopes that one of them works. Apple has yet to give an indication of whether they will assist this time so it will be interesting to see how this proceeds.