U.S. government seeks to force Apple to extract data from a dozen more iPhones

“The Justice Department is pursuing court orders to force Apple Inc. to help investigators extract data from iPhones in about a dozen undisclosed cases around the country, in disputes similar to the current battle over a terrorist’s locked phone, according to people familiar with the matter,” Devlin Barrett reports for Dow Jones Business News.

“The other phones are at issue in cases where prosecutors have sought, as in the San Bernardino, Calif. terror case, to use an 18th-century law called the All Writs Act to compel the company to help them bypass the passcode security feature of phones that may hold evidence, these people said,” Barrett reports. “The dozen other phones now the subject of legal battles were seized in a variety of criminal investigations, but they are not terrorism cases like the San Bernardino investigation, people familiar with the matter said.”

“As the fight over the San Bernardino phone became public last week, federal prosecutors and the FBI said they are not seeking to set a precedent in the case, but to get the company to help them open a single phone that may hold crucial evidence to help explain the most deadly terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11,” Barrett reports. “In a filing last week in the San Bernardino case, federal prosecutors argued the order they have obtained ‘is tailored for and limited to this particular phone. And the order will facilitate only the FBI’s efforts to search the phone… Nor is compliance with the order a threat to other users of Apple products.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Nor is compliance with the order a threat to other users of Apple products.”

The U.S. government lies. Shocker.

As we wrote last week: It’s not just one phone. Any random idiot should be able to grasp that simple fact. If they don’t seem to get it, look for ulterior motive(s).

Make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control… The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable. — Apple CEO Tim Cook

Man is not free unless government is limited. — Ronald Reagan

Apple CEO Cook: They’d have to cart us out in a box before we’d create a backdoor – February 22, 2016
Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees: ‘This case is about more than a single phone’ – February 22, 2016
Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone – February 17, 2016


    1. What do you do with a government that deliberately exploits public hysteria to shape public opinion? The public has to get control of themselves. The world is dangerous. There are crazy people in it who are willing to harm others for a variety of reasons. Some do it with guns and bombs, some do it with pens and paper. One thing is sure, you don’t let that government get stronger, in any area.

      Keep calm and carry on.

  1. How does American law work when it comes to maintaining the integrity of evidence?

    In the UK, if a hard drive is believed to contain evidence, a forensic clone is made ( with writing made impossible by hardware ). That drive is sealed and any investigation work is only done on the clone so that the integrity of the data can be demonstrated.

    If investigators load software into an iPhone’s memory before being able to make a clone of the data within, they will have modified the contents of that memory and a half decent lawyer should be able to declare that any evidence gathered by that means was modified, unreliable and therefore inadmissible.

    1. Hey Derek, great issue here these days, I bet you have a pretty good idea of what’s right. Thank goodness for people like you, keeps my faith in your country alive.

      1. You’re very kind. A couple days back I had the highest readership level ever at my Mac-Security blog. This issue is the hottest thing I’ve seen regarding computer security and the law. It’s fun and interesting to understand the subject well enough to offer an intelligent point of view.

        Meanwhile, I keep worrying about the ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ manoeuvres being attempted in the UK. Add that to the blatant and convenient hiding of surveillance data from the public for the sake of government image. Which country is digging the bigger hole in which to bury itself?

        Then toss in the mass Muslim refugee migration catastrophe and my dystopian vision of the last dark age starts getting too clear. Or have I had too much coffee?

        1. I tend to suffer from the Cassandra effect, my valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved. Heck people laughed at me when I bought Apple stock when Gil Amelio was CEO, and my observations about how wrong that Iraq escapade was going to be resulted in death threats, by citizens of your country of course.

          Those are just a couple of examples, common sense is not common these days.

          What I really want to let you know is not to despair, the future of humanity is bright, even though these are very dark times.

          1. I wish you and I could meet and chatter over coffee. It’s incredibly rare to interact with someone with insight. I know exactly what you mean about the Cassandra effect. I also get very tired of watching and talking about gloomy stuff. These days I do my best to support creativity and humor as solutions to the power of crap. We’re in for a lot of laughs if Donald-The-Clown goes to Washington.

            Keep in touch. Smash my name together without a space and add at mac dot com to write directly.

  2. And, if the FBI is successful in getting their ruling, the city of New York is standing right behind them with 175 iPhones.


    To that point, the New York City police commissioner, William J. Bratton, and the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., criticized Apple after it refused to comply with the court order and said that they currently possessed 175 iPhones that they could not unlock.

    Charlie Rose recently interviewed Mr. Vance and asked if he would want access to all phones that were part of a criminal proceeding should the government prevail in the San Bernardino case.

    Mr. Vance responded: “Absolutely right.”

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