Now the FBI says it’s figured out.
About a month ago we had a conversation about the fight between FBI and Apple over the encrypted phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters–and now, the FBI has dropped its suit against Apple, saying it has found a way to unlock the phone without the company’s help.
As opposed to our lengthy discussion of the issue of privacy, security, and technology, I’ll keep this response pretty short. For one, I thought it pretty suspect when the Bureau said they couldn’t figure out how to unlock the phone and that they needed Apple’s technical help. There was this revealing exchange between Rep. Issa and Director Comey about whether the latter’s agency had actually tried all feasible methods, for example.
I have no idea.
And then there was the possibility of help from other government agencies as well as independent software engineers and hackers, which I’m guessing is what led to the Bureau’s ultimate success here. What the case illustrates is that, intentionally or not, the Bureau presented a false choice between privacy and security, when in fact technology, in this case, created no such obstacle. We are right to subject these requests for higher access with the amount of scrutiny we did.
Of course, this issue is bound to come up again.