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WHOOPS: Authorities Reset San Bernardino Terrorists iPhone
Earlier in the week, the FBI, a government agency, told Apple, a business, to unlock the San Bernardino's terrorist iPhone by ultimately providing a skeleton key to all iPhones everywhere. Well Tim Cook, the CEO, said heck to the no with a fantastic open letter. We wrote about it Apple's Tim Cook to FBI: 'No, We Won't Help You to Break Into Iphones...' As Cook explained, the IOS for the iPhone is encrypted and super secure. I'm not a tech-wizard, but as I understand it, one does not simply crack a singular iPhone without busting the security for all of them.
The FBI doubled down, demanding Apple provide the skeleton key to all iPhones everywhere. Even presidential candidates jumped on board. Ted Cruz called for Apple to break the one iPhone. Donald Trump has called for a boycott of Apple until Apple complies with the demand.
The Justice Department acknowledged in its court filing that the password of Syed Farook's iCloud account had been reset. The filing states, "the owner [San Bernardino County Department of Public Health], in an attempt to gain access to some information in the hours after the attack, was able to reset the password remotely, but that had the effect of eliminating the possibility of an auto-backup."
Apple could have recovered information from the iPhone had the iCloud password not been reset, the company said. If the phone was taken to a location where it recognized the Wi-Fi network, such as the San Bernardino shooters' home, it could have been backed up to the cloud, Apple suggested.
The auto reset was executed by a county information technology employee, according to a federal official. Federal investigators only found out about the reset after it had occurred and that the county employee acted on his own, not on the orders of federal authorities, the source said.
Allow me to translate this for you: The county authorities screwed this up. Royally.
The county authorities could've bagged Farook's iPhone for evidence. They didn't. They could've followed procedure and waited for federal authorities. They didn't. They could've had a moment to think about constantly trying to hack into a phone that is notoriously hard to hack then ask Apple for help in cracking that singular phone. They didn't.
Now the federal authorities want Apple...no, they're MANDATING Apple fix their error by providing the key to unlock all iPhones.
A rehash of what Tim Cook said in our earlier article:
"The FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on [the shooter's] iPhone," Cook added. "In the wrong hands, this software -- which does not exist today -- would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession."
Look, you might be a Microsoft person. You might be a Samsung person. You might be an Apple person. But this isn't about product fandom. This is a privacy issue, and if ever you've suspected the NSA or others of spying on you, and been bothered by the very idea of it, you should be watching this story like a fat feminist watches cake come out of the oven.
Should the authorities have access to a terrorist's phone? Yes. But should they get that access by demanding the company who built and secured the entire product line, break the entire product line's security system, thereby putting the privacy of anyone who uses that product at risk? In my opinion? NO.
Think I'm wrong? Tweet me at @Courtneyscoffs. Don't be a hypocrite and tweet from an iPhone, though. Otherwise I'll laugh at you. Hard.