“A decision to reset the password on an iCloud account associated with one of the San Bernardino attackers did not effectively thwart the investigation into the shooting, FBI officials said in a court filing Thursday as part of the Justice Department’s ongoing encryption dispute with Apple Inc,” Eric Tucker and Tami Abdollah report for the Associated Press.
“FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress last week that “there was a mistake” made when the FBI asked San Bernardino County, which owned the phone, to reset the password for an account tied to Syed Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in the December 2 shootings,” Tucker and Abdollah report. “In a sworn declaration submitted Thursday, Christopher Pluhar, an FBI agent involved in processing the evidence, said the password reset did not harm the investigation. Farook’s iPhone, which was found powered off, had the iCloud backups turned off for his mail, photos and notes, and aren’t believed to be complete, Pluhar said. And even with a full set of backups, the Justice Department said, the government would still have needed to search the phone ‘in order to leave no stone unturned’ in the investigation.”
“The statement is aimed at rebutting earlier claims from Apple that said that if the FBI had not changed the iCloud password, its engineers could have helped investigators use a known — and therefore trusted — wireless connection to trick the iPhone from automatically backing up to iCloud,” Tucker and Abdollah report. “The brief, which sets the stage for a March 22 hearing in Southern California, marks a further escalation of rhetoric between the federal government and one of the world’s largest technology companies… Apple responded Thursday by saying the Justice Department is ‘so desperate at this point that it has thrown all decorum to the winds.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on October 20, 2015:
Too many people do not realize how lucky we are that Tim Cook is CEO of Apple Inc. No matter what else Cook does, as long as he holds his ground on this issue, he’s one of the greatest CEOs in history. We need and are lucky to have a man with a strong backbone to stand up to this constant pressure from misguided government spies who’re hell bent on running roughshod over the U.S. Constitution and U.S. citizens’ rights.
The U.S. federal government should adhere to the U.S. Constitution and governments everywhere should respect their citizen’s rights.
Apple: U.S. Justice Dept attempting to ‘smear’ company by taking a ‘cheap shot’ – March 10, 2016
Apple is openly defying US demands for ‘backdoors,’ but in China Apple takes a very different approach – February 17, 2016
Apple agrees to subject products to Chinese government security inspections – January 22, 2015