Department of Justice Hacks iPhone
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
The US government has dropped it suit against the giant tech company Apple Inc., saying it “no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc.,” according to USA Today. The Department of Justice filed suit against the tech company seeking assistance to hack into an iPhone that allegedly belonged to suspected terrorist Syed Farook.
Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik purportedly carried out the mass shooting this past December at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino, California. They reportedly entered a rented space where the company he worked for were having a holiday party and opened fire, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others.
The phone recovered by the FBI was a county-owned iPhone 5C. Upon unsuccessful attempts to unlock the phone, the FBI contacted Apple and asked for their assistance. Apple denied the request due to their promise to never undermine the security features of its brand which is known worldwide for being difficult to hack. This feature has made the iPhone one of the most popular smartphones in the world.
The FBI in turn sought out and received a court order to compel Apple to comply. Apple still refused citing the high risk to its customer base and brand should it create a back door to break into the phone. After going back and forth for six weeks, the FBI announced last week that an Isreali company, Cellebrite, had assisted them in gaining access to the phone’s data.
Just yesterday, the Justice Department announced it had unlocked the phone and would no longer pursue it’s suit against Apple. Industry experts weighed in saying that even though the lawsuit was over, that this is only the beginning of Constitutional, privacy and safety concerns for the American consumer and smartphone technology.