Libertarian U.S. presidential candidate John McAfee offers to unlock terrorist’s iPhone for FBI

“Anti-virus software creator John McAfee has said he will break the encryption on an iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino killer Syed Farook,” Chris Baraniuk reports for BBC News. “Apple has refused to comply with a court order asking it to unlock the device, dividing opinion over whether the firm should be compelled to do so.”

“Mr McAfee said he and his team would take on the task ‘free of charge,'” Baraniuk reports. “The offer came as Mr McAfee continues his campaign as a US presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. ‘It will take us three weeks,’ he claimed in his article.”

“Security expert Graham Cluley told the BBC he was sceptical of Mr McAfee’s claims. ‘The iPhone is notoriously difficult to hack compared to other devices,’ he said,” Baraniuk reports. “‘The FBI isn’t interested anyway, they want to set a precedent that there shouldn’t be locks they can’t break,’ he added.”

“Mr McAfee stated that he was keen to unlock the device because he didn’t want Apple to be forced to implement a ‘back door’ – a method by which security services could access data on encrypted devices,” Baraniuk reports. “Mr McAfee believes that it would be possible to retrieve data from the phone by other means – though he did not give many details of how it would be done. ‘I would eat my shoe on the Neil Cavuto [television] show if we could not break the encryption on the San Bernardino phone,’ he added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “The FBI isn’t interested anyway, they want to set a precedent that there shouldn’t be locks they can’t break.” And there you have it all in a nutshell.

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EFF opposes U.S. government demand to force Apple to unlock terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
‘Who do they think they are?’ Donald Trump blasts Apple for not unlocking San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Tim Cook posts open letter opposing U.S. government demands to bypass iPhone encryption – February 17, 2016
Apple CEO opposes court order to help FBI unlock San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Apple wants judge to rule if it can be forced to unlock defendant’s iPhone – February 16, 2016
U.S. House lawmakers seek to outlaw states from banning encrypted iPhones – February 10, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration’s calls for backdoors into encrypted communications echo Clinton-era key escrow fiasco – December 14, 2015


  1. Mr I need attention is at it again. Guy’s nuttier than a fruitcake and really, this isn’t about breaking into the phone, it’s about the US Govt making policy for opening other’s phones at will. Chucklehead.

    1. I support Apple in this case. Bu let’s not get carried away in our choosing of sides.

      McAfee’s offer doesn’t put the FBI in any delicate position…as others have noted, McAfee is a crazy guy. And there is no guarantee he would be successful.

      And that security expert’s opinion is just that…his opinion…it doesn’t mean that the Justice Dept would not accept another resolution that doesn’t take this to court and set precedent. That’s just his opinion.

  2. What I find interesting is that no MSM articles that I have read discuss the global implication of what the FBI is demanding of Apple. If Apple complies with the US Government’s demands, what argument would Apple have against China? Russia? North Korea? None.

    If Apple caves to to the US Government, it must cave to ALL countries where it sells its products. Or risk being exposed globally as a pawn/branch of the US Government. A very dangerous proposition, IMHO.

    1. Thank you for injecting some sanity and reason into this debate. You are correct IMHO; one of the biggest issues in this case is what it would mean with regards to foreign governments and their ability to get companies to violate privacy rights of citizens.

      But people would rather call names, insult law enforcement, etc.

  3. It’s never been about what’s on the phone. Read all FBI’s comments, they use the words “maybe, might have, or could” have information on it.
    The reality is it might not have anything on it but they want to break into it anyway. There is no proof that the phone has anything on it. They already have all at the content (though encrypted) which was in the cloud for their account. If these people were trained like any other terrorist, they would have wiped the phone of all data except calling before their terrorist act. The FBI doesn’t care about the phone at all. What good will it do this much later? Anyone involved has moved, deleted or changed sense that time.

    FBI is just using this as leverage because they can and are incapable of do anything about it.

    I’ll be one of the first to walk on those steps to support Apple if needed.

    1. Right! We all know that the FBI (and countless others from around the world) have been working on it for much longer than 3 weeks, and is unable. I would like to see Mr. McAfee try it!

    2. Befor you look you wont know son…. Thats why they want to look ….lol
      One thing is a was used be a known terrorist.. ..

      For those who confused back door and unlocking/accessing info on a phone… Those who have created this way over the top frenzy …. And insulted many who argued they are not the same ..

      Read this piece of info just released .

      “Further, Apple has been conducting “regular” discussions with government entities since early January regarding methods by which data from Farook’s iPhone 5c may be recovered. According to the report, Apple proposed four different options for data recovery, none of which involved building a software backdoor into iOS.”

  4. This is why McAfee is utterly disqualified to run as a Libertarian. Complying with an unreasonable demand from the government is something no credible Libertarian candidate would ever do.


  5. Mr McAfee, if you could do something like that you have had already posted a video or prove it hacking some other’s iPhone.
    One thing is to say and another very different is to do.

  6. “Mr McAfee believes that it would be possible to retrieve data from the phone by other means – though he did not give many details of how it would be done. ‘I would eat my shoe on the Neil Cavuto [television] show if we could not break the encryption on the San Bernardino phone,’ he added.”

    How do you like your sole? Rare, medium or well done?

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