Data from San Bernardino phone has helped in probe, U.S. law enforcement officials claim

“Hacking the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone has produced data the FBI didn’t have before and has helped the investigators answer some remaining questions in the ongoing probe, U.S. law enforcement officials say,” Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz report for CNN.

“Investigators are now more confident that terrorist Syed Farook didn’t make contact with another plotter during an 18-minute gap that the FBI said was missing from their time line of the attackers’ whereabouts after the mass shooting, the officials said. The phone has helped investigators address lingering concern that the two may have help, perhaps from friends and family, the officials said,” Perez, Brown and Prokupecz report. “The phone didn’t contain evidence of contacts with other ISIS supporters or the use of encrypted communications during the period the FBI was concerned about. The FBI views that information as valuable to the probe, possibilities it couldn’t discount without getting into the phone, the officials said.”

Perez, Brown and Prokupecz report, “FBI investigators now have concluded there was data on the phone they didn’t have previously, law enforcement officials said, declining to offer more specifics.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pfft.

So, basically, it seems that the most important “recovered data” is that there was no pertinent data on the iPhone.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “silverhawk1” for the heads up.]


  1. More than just spin. The absence of information may be intelligence the FBI desired, but it is NOT “data on the phone” – that is an outright attempt to deceive the public.

    If they stuck with “There was no data on the phone itself, which was important for us to know” they would be telling the truth. The headline is a lie. Surprise, surprise.

    1. Hmm. Arguably, CNN managed to weasel this by prefacing the lie with “Sources:”. In other words, the headline is accurately reporting that CNN’s sources told a lie. But, if you include a lie in the headline, it’s not enough to say “according to sources” if the same sources provide information that make it clear their comment is spin/dishonest. The headline SHOULD have been:
      “Sources: Lack of data on iPhone was useful for intelligence.” When a source is trying to deceive the public by making misleading statements that their FACTs do not back up, it is the job of a responsible journalist to point that out. The real story in this article would be THIS headline:
      “FBI sources try to spin lack of data as being data”
      It’s legitimate for the FBI to say that they wanted to know whether or not the iPhone had nothing on it. It is NOT legitimate to pretend that means the iPhone actually had something on it.

      1. CNN is corporate/government/entertainment news source. They report what their sponsors want them to report. The story was probably written by the FBI.

      2. More precisely:

        “Sources _say_ that they _believe_ the _lack_ of any relevant data at all on the San Bernardino criminal’s iPhone _nevertheless_ did, in fact, provide useful information to law enforcement agencies: it confirmed there was no additional information on the iPhone that they did not already have.”

    2. Except for all the data on the burner phones and hard drives that they destroyed. They should have known all along that there was nothing of interest on the phone that technically didn’t even belong to the perpetrators.

      This phone and the highly probable lack of useful information was never the issue. It was all about setting precedent . The FBI made a great big FIB by saying it was just about this one phone.

  2. What an amazing job to have! That’s even better than a weatherman, where you get paid well even when you’re wrong over half the time. The FBI gets paid to say that learning nothing was extremely helpful to their investigation. Amazing. :smh:

    1. Then the FBI needs access to every other phone in the world to confirm that the San Bernardino nutjobs did _not_ phone anyone else with _another_ secret phone that they successfully disposed of.

  3. FBI – what a laughable statement. OF COURSE there was data on the phone they did not have. It is what is not said that is the lie. That is the data was of zero consequence. ZERO.

    1. Um, looks like WordPress has been removing its emoticons. I attempted, twice, to use the rolling eyes emoticon. Here’s a test of a few others:
      – sad 🙁

      – cool 😎

      – razz 😛

      – twisted 😈

      – mrgreen :mrgreen:

      – shock 😯

  4. To hell with all this ‘it helped with the probe’ bullshit. These are dumbass government chumps who are too stupid to get a job in the real world. So they ‘work’ for the government.

    What I really want to know is whether they got to the dangerous ‘lying dormant cyber pathogen’. That fucker will fuck you up if you are not careful.

    Swimmin’ in a sea of retards.

    1. If you are convinced that all government employees are stupid, you have two choices:

      1. Move someplace without a government. I understand that Somalia and Libya are nice and sunny this time of year.
      2. Go to work for the government and see how that affects the average intelligence level.

      As Benjamin Franklin actually said, those who would buy temporary financial security at the price of the liberty of a free people to tax themselves will have neither security nor liberty.

  5. MDN is in denial. A joke. They think that there will NEVER be life-saving data on an iPhone that had the authorities found could have saved one or many, many lives. And it will happen to some of the very people who don’t want our police and FBI and CIA and NSA who protect our country any access to an iPhone. They will have a little boy, or little girl, or wife, or colleagues that will be hurt or killed because the authorities could not get to the iPhone data in time to act.

    MDN is like all the millennial babies that never grew up and are still a bunch of immature and even dangerous losers.

    Go FBI, CIA, NSA, Americas Police Departments!

    1. They could also just make it so anyone could listen to or hack any phone in the world – then they could save whoever they feel like saving. That’s their (and your) plan, right?

      Oh, wait. If they do that, every person in the world will be easy prey for criminals, ID thieves, kidnappers, murderers, burglars, and the like, since our phones would be wide open. How will the FBI decide who to save, when everyone’s getting robbed, kidnapped, or murdered?

      You’re an idiot. Go educate yourself: encryption either works or it doesn’t. If the FBI succeeded in forcing encryption to be broken, they’d have to massively expand operations to deal with the wave of crime that would result.

    2. I have been one of MDN’s strongest critics on this, but to be fair I don’t think they have ever claimed that people would NEVER die or suffer because of strong encryption. They have argued that those costs are outweighed by the greater and more certain risks of weak encryption. I basically agree, although I think it is a closer case than they do.

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