U.S. government drops Apple case after claiming hack of terrorist’s iPhone

“The U.S. said it has gained access to the data on the iPhone used by a terrorist and no longer needs Apple Inc.’s assistance, marking an end to a legal clash that was poised to redraw boundaries between personal privacy and national security in the mobile Internet age,” Edvard Pettersson, Alex Webb, and Chris Strohm report for Bloomberg.

“The Justice Department said a week ago that it was approached by an unidentified third party about a possible method to get into the phone,” Pettersson, Webb, and Strohm report. “The government said in a court filing Monday that it “has now successfully accessed the data stored” on the iPhone 5c used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife carried out the December attack in San Bernardino, California. The filing provided no details on how investigators got the data.”

“While Apple has emerged victorious from the court tussle, the government’s claim that the FBI was able to hack the iPhone with the help of a third party tarnishes the iPhone’s purported security prowess. Monday’s filing signals that government agencies can break into phones with encryption systems that were designed to make them impenetrable,” Pettersson, Webb, and Strohm report. “The agency [FBI] has declined to outline exactly how it was working to break into the phone. Apple lawyers said before Monday’s announcement that they expect the FBI to explain any successful method it discovers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again: The U.S. government and in particular, FBI Director James Comey, lied all along. That, or they’re just incompetent.

Using the court process and an antiquated law to accomplish the FBI’s goal was especially inappropriate in this situation given that Congress and the White House were actively engaged on the issue. The fact that the FBI ultimately found an alternative solution suggests that it did not conduct full due diligence before filing the lawsuit.U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu

U.S. Citizens: Never forget that you funded the FBI’s purchase of this iPhone backdoor and the iPhone’s contents. DEMAND TO SEE WHAT YOU PAID FOR.

Hey, FBI: We want to see those oh-so-crucial pix of cafeteria trays that we paid for!

FBI may be obligated to reveal how it got into terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Apple responds to FBI: ‘This case should have never been brought’ – March 29, 2016


  1. Again, all the FBI is claiming is that they got what they wanted, which was removal of the barriers to them using a swift, full computer speed brute force attack on the password for the iPhone. Whether they have yet accessed all the data is unknown. But they undoubtedly will, if what they’ve stated is true.

    And… everything points to what they find on the iPhone being irrelevant to the terrorist wannabe Syed Rizwan Farook case. (0_o)

      1. Well, there is the terrorism influence in the background, if only as a personal justification by the sick couple who conducted the mass murder. But you clearly nailed the motivation.

        Again, ‘terrorism’ is being used as a FUD word. Applying it has become a method of coercion, whether its use is justifiable to not. This deceitful trick has been going on for years. I know many will hate my saying it, but the enablement of the 9/11 events by the Neo-Con-Jobs was all about having a massive FUD event they could use to coerce the country into going to war in Iraq. When their fumbling and bumbling excuses for the Iraq war were evident, they pulled out the ‘terrorism’ word as a motivator, despite the fact that terrorism had nothing-at-all to do with it. 9/11 had nothing to do with it. It was all about what Israel wanted being translated through the Neo-Con-Jobs into an atrocity pulled off by the GW Bush administration.

        And no kids, I’m not going to use MDN as a forum for fighting out my statements above. Most people are NOT ready to deal with the real events of 9/11. But in the future, my points above will ring with sense. Sad, but that’s the case.

  2. I thought it was pretty idiotic how the FBI attempted to leverage Apple through public opinion. Leading up to this point, there were several times that an FBI rep stood in front of a camera and pronounced why Apple was in-American for not producing GovtOS. They even went so far as to explain their blunder about changing the iCloud password to help point to why Apple had to make GovtOS.

    Now they are radio silent when it comes to how/if they cracked it open? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark…

  3. If it takes a $100,000 technique to hack into an iPhone, then I wouldn’t say that it weakens the security. Until there are more details, this is more gossip than news.

    It is only if the breaking technique is cheap and easy (like Windows viruses) that it becomes a significant problem.

  4. How does one go about filing a FOIA request? I want to see what was on that phone and to find out who is the bigger idiot, the Islamic terrorists for storing sensitive info on phone or the US government (no specific branch, dept., agency, as they are all pretty incompetent)…?

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