FBI claims it still can’t access data on Pensacola terrorist’s iPhones

FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed Wednesday that the bureau has reconstructed an iPhone belonging to the Islamic terrorist who killed three people and injured eight others at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida, but still can’t access the encrypted data on the device.

Mark Gurman and Chris Strohm:

FBI can't access terrorist's iPhone
iPhone passcode lock screen
The disclosure came at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in response to questions from Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida. Wray said the FBI is “currently engaged with Apple hoping to see if we can get better help from them so we can get access to that phone.”

The Cupertino, California-based company has said it gave the FBI cloud data related to the iPhones, but has insisted that it won’t build a backdoor around encryption to access information on its devices.

While the government had been publicly pressing Apple to help it unlock the devices, experts in cybersecurity and digital forensics have believed that the agency has the ability to unlock the devices without Apple’s help, like it did with the phone belonging to the shooter behind an attack in San Bernardino, California, five years ago. Investigators can exploit a range of security vulnerabilities — available directly or through providers such as Cellebrite and Grayshift — to break into the phones, according to security experts.

MacDailyNews Take: Since the FBI is part of a concerted effort to pressure Apple to destroy their business by providing insecure backdoors into their products, it’s possible that the FBI has yet to call on Cellebrite or Grayshift to attempt to access this terrorist’s iPhone or that Wray is simply lying to the House committee. We’d hazard a guess that it wouldn’t be the first time an FBI director has lied to Congress.

Regardless, Apple isn’t opening this iPhone, either.

The U.S. government is feigning ignorance on this issue in what seems to be an attempt to sway public sentiment against Apple and/or to set up a legal battle to somehow force Apple to create a backdoor that will jeopardize the security and privacy of every iPhone user. Why do we say that the U.S. government is feigning ignorance? Because there are ways to get into older iPhones via third-party forensics companies that the U.S. government has utilized in the past.MacDailyNews, January 15, 2020

The criminals will always be able to use end-to-end encryption. Measures like this hurt only law-abiding citizens by making it possible to invade privacy, conduct mass surveillance, and God only know what else. The criminals will have their privacy while law-abiding citizens will have their privacy stripped away.MacDailyNews, January 30, 2020

Wise Americans know and understand the meaning of the following quote:

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

Again, encryption is binary; it’s either on or off. You cannot have both. You either have privacy via full encryption or you don’t by forcing back doors upon Apple or anybody else. It’s all or nothing. — MacDailyNews, March 8, 2017

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

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