“For about 48 hours after a deadly rampage at a Texas church, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies did not ask Apple Inc to help them unlock the gunman’s iPhone or associated online accounts, a source told Reuters on Wednesday,” Stephen Nellis and Dustin Volz report for Reuters.
“A cellphone belonging to Devin Kelley – accused of killing 26 people before taking his own life – was sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Quantico, Virginia, crime lab because authorities could not unlock it, Christopher Combs, head of the FBI’s San Antonio field office, said on Tuesday,” Nellis and Volz report. “Combs did not specify what kind of phone Kelley had during the attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas, but the Washington Post reported on Tuesday that it was an iPhone, citing sources close to the investigation.”
“The Reuters source said that in the 48 hours between Sunday’s shooting and Comb’s news conference Apple had received no requests from federal, state or local law enforcement authorities for technical assistance with Kelley’s phone or his associated online accounts at Apple,” Nellis and Volz report. “iPhones locked with a fingerprint ask for the user’s pass code after 48 hours if they have not been unlocked by then.”
“If it receives a warrant or court order, Apple will give law enforcement authorities iCloud data, as well as the keys needed to decrypt it,” Nellis and Volz report. “If an iPhone user backs up their iPhone using iCloud, the online data can contain texts, photographs and other information from the phone. It could not be learned whether Apple had received a court order to turn over iCloud data.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: While the FBI may very well ask for iCloud data via warrant, we doubt the FBI (now under new management) will be stupid enough to file a lawsuit in an attempt to compel Apple to unlock it this go ’round.
FBI unable to access Texas mass murder’s locked phone – November 7, 2017
Apple CEO Cook tweets condolences for victims of mass murder in First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas – November 6, 2017
Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘backdoors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013