Boston judge ordered Apple to give FBI iPhone data in gang case

“A federal judge in Boston ordered Apple to help the FBI access information on a suspect’s locked iPhone earlier this year, according to court filings unsealed Friday,” Katie Bo Williams reports for The Hill.

“U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler said that the tech giant must provide ‘reasonable technical assistance’ to law enforcement, including ‘extracting data from the device, copying the data from the device onto an external hard drive … and/or providing the FBI with the suspect Personal Identification Number so that access can be gained,'” Williams reports. “But Bowler stopped short of requiring that the company decrypt the information on the iPhone. The iPhone belongs to Desmond Crawford, an alleged gang member, whom the FBI is investigating.”

Williams reports, “Apple is publicly refusing to help law enforcement gain access to seized iPhones, arguing that the assistance the government is seeking would undermine the security and privacy of Apple devices for everyday users.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Another judge who doesn’t understand the technology issues.


  1. No, it’s another judge who doesn’t care about privacy. He want’s Apple to be forced to access the phones personal data and give it to law enforcement or any government agency demanding access to the phone.

    It doesn’t matter to him if other peoples data security ends up at risk, only that Apple does what the judge or the government demands.

  2. Things are now much simpler. All Apple needs to do is to tell agencies such as these to pay Cellebrite to do the job for them. They have much more expertise in this matter than Apple do. If specialists like Cellebrite can’t do it, then it’s pretty obvious that Apple can’t do it either.

    Cellebrite don’t say how they crack iPhones, so Apple can’t be expected to copy their methods just because a judge imagines that they should.

    If investigators want data extracted from iPhones, they must pay the specialist who offer exactly that service.

  3. “copying the data from the device onto an external hard drive”
    Okay, here’s your encrypted data on a hard drive. Have a nice day.

    “providing the FBI with the suspect Personal Identification Number so that access can be gained”
    Hey Tim, don’t you have that person’s personal identification number on a card catalog in that file cabinet in the basement?
    No not the password, the personal identification number . . . so that access can be gained.

  4. Time to wake up and smell the coffee Apple. Pack the bags and go, either to somewhere on the free and civilized world or to a lovely suite at the Guantanamo on the Bay resort.

    What is “reasonable technical assistance” to law enforcement, to some is unreasonable to others.

    Data copied, heck Microsoft and Samsung should be able be to help with that.

    To provide FIB with a suspect’s Personal Identification Number oh I like that. Why do you think it’s called a Personal Identification Number and not a Terrorist Accessible Number?

    Steve Jobs used to say, oh one more thing… ironic now it’s one more phone.

  5. The most reasonable technical assistance that Apple could provide to the FBI, is a check for $10,000 to hand over to Celebrite.

    But they should be asked to do nothing…

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