Apple posts FAQ on government's request to unlock terrorist's iPhone

Apple posts FAQ on government's request to unlock terrorist's iPhone
Apple's support page now includes information related to the company's legal battle with the government over a court order. The order demands that Apple unlock an Apple iPhone 5c, which was given to deceased terrorist Syed Farook to be used in relation to his job with the San Bernardino Department of Public Health. Farook and his wife killed 14 people in a San Bernardino office building, and the government says information inside the phone could help them determine who was in touch with Farook before the attack. It also might lead investigators to determine what other targets are being eyed by terrorists.

In the FAQ, Apple makes it clear that the government is asking for it "to create a unique version of iOS that would bypass security protections on the iPhone Lock screen." More specifically, Apple has been asked to disable the Auto-Erase feature that wipes an iPhone after ten incorrect passcodes have been entered. Apple adds that giving in to the government order could lead to requests for Apple to record conversations, or monitor the location of a user.

The tech titan does admit that the software being asked for by the court order can be built. But Apple says that creating the requested version of iOS is "dangerous." Apple added that "the only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is to never create it." 

For those who claim that Apple had previously unlocked iPhones to cooperate with the government, the company repeats something that we told you the other day. Prior to iOS 8, Apple did extract data from specific iPhone units under a court order. But with the release of iOS 8, that could no longer be possible.

On the support page, Apple denies that it is not following the court order because of concern for its business model and marketing strategy. The company also reveals that a solution that would have worked, pairing the phone to a network already joined and backing up the data on the phone, could no longer be considered after the Apple ID password connected to the phone was changed when the phone was in custody of the government.

Apple suggests that the government withdraw its demands and form a commission to discuss the issues involving "the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy, and personal freedoms." Apple says that it would attend such a meeting of the minds.

If you want to see Apple's position on the government's request to unlock Farook's iPhone 5c, click on the sourcelink to read Apple's FAQ on the subject.

source: Apple via BGR

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Related phones

iPhone 5c
  • Display 4.0 inches
    1136 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A6, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1507 mAh
  • OS iOS 10.x

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60 Comments

65. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Apple lives in its own world where nothing bad happens and all the people who look at anime porn on their iPhone can rub one out without worrying about the possibility that some fat slob sitting behind a desk in DC is laughing at them. Unfortunately for all of you, the world we live in is full of ignorant people and pieces of s**t who want nothing more than to see every single one of us die by a suicide bomber or a bullet to the head. Now when I think about all that, it makes a lot more sense to me to have Apple open up some jerkoffs phone than it is to sit here and bitch about "your privacy" and talk about how nice it would be to waste more taxpayer money and form this bulls**t committee where a bunch of expert jerkoffs can get together to accomplish nothing. They lost their rights to privacy when they murdered 14 people.

46. Rock_Hardwood

Posts: 117; Member since: May 11, 2015

the apple employee who can sell that software will be rich beyond avarice. Governments of china, russia, iran and otthers wil pay a fortune for it and also the mob and gangs will be willing buyers. If apple is forced to do this than samsong and others must be forced to compromise their phons security also.

47. Rock_Hardwood

Posts: 117; Member since: May 11, 2015

bon voyage

45. phonearenaviewer

Posts: 59; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Apple is un American anyway. 1. Tax cheats that hide their money oversees 2. Child labor that assembles the iPhone in China. In my book they could care less. BTW I have iMac, iPhone 6S plus 128, iPad, Apple TV. If Apple does not unlock this phone than I will NEVER buy another Apple product. My safety and well being is more important than Apple making money.

35. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Bad habits never dies:http://blackbag.gawker.com/apple-snuck-backdoor-surveillance-tools-into-their-i-e-1610260959 tim cook In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today - Lie! Just admitted such software does exist. No need to clarify if it has NEVER existed! OR never existed instead TODAY!

29. atlvideoguy

Posts: 75; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

What ever happened to the offer John McAfee made to hack the iPhone and get the information out so Apple wouldn't have to create special access to the phone for free? FBI has been against this encryption that Apple & Google implemented into they're operating systems since day one. This is about the FBI making an example with the excuse of terrorism to set a new precedence for Apple & Google and any other mobile operating system moving forward!

30. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"This is about the FBI making an example with the excuse of terrorism to set a new precedence for Apple & Google and any other mobile operating system moving forward!" "Coincidentally", that aligns with the claims from eye witnesses saying they didn't see no terrorist couple, they saw 3 white shooters in military clothing: http://anonhq.com/san-bernardino-shooting-witnesses-claim-3-white-men-not-muslim-terror-couple-carried-attacks/ The conspiracy is slowly becoming a reality...

36. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Nope it not, it's the owner of the phone asking Apple to unlock it,now if it was not the owner then it will makes a precedence I.e. If they asked for my phone that I need then it be a big problem,,not in this case apart from if the owner asked and a big fee is paid for the making of the software, this also stop the basic customer from asking

50. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Go and join with those who say we never landed on the moon....

51. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Lol, I didn't even know there was such stories, couldn't care less about those ones. 9/11 on the other hand, that was a whole new level of corruption, worst currently on earth I'd say. Given all the evidence backed by laws of nature and physics, and even credible witnesses like Willy Rodriguez (honored as a hero by GWB), proving what the media stated was bull crap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWiusdy1miI And all the evidence of Bush deflecting questions about him being involved in it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEU61Cw7VCo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwKjw5RjPyQ And Obama refusing to show irrefutable evidence of the "terrorist" they finally killed, when such would put a definite end to ALL conspiracy theories. It's just mind boggling how some americans can just stick their head in the sand and remain ignoramus and in denial, as if that'll change reality. So far, all I've been getting is denial without any counter argument or sources backed by rational logic from other americans. Are you any different? Please do share, if you have any objective POV about it. I'm open to learning the truth.

61. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

I'll avoid most of the conspiracy crap since it's BS, however, you do know that most Islamic believers are white people, right?

68. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"I'll avoid most of the conspiracy crap since it's BS" There we have it, yet another american in denial without any objective counter arguments... "however, you do know that most Islamic believers are white people, right?" And how does that explain the attack of 3 of such "white muslims" getting blamed on a couple who aren't even white?

28. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Let's see if Apple can stay so honourable if the government closes that tax loophole that avoided them paying $60 billion in U.S taxes alone.

60. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

US tax law occupies thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pages, all meticulously planned by people with educations worth more than most Americans make in a decade. It's planned to work the way it does, not thrown together like a fifth-grader's homework. When someone doesn't pay taxes on money invested, or income spent on labor, it's because the system is designed that way. What loopholes?

26. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

If Apple can do this is it possible that something like what the government is asking for has already been created by a 3rd party?

59. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

No, Apple knows how the encryption works so only they can build the backdoor. The point of this request is that once they build the backdoor, even if they patch over, the government will know how to build a new one. Apple will have to rebuild iOS security from the ground up if they want to offer a device that the government doesn't have 24x7 access to.

23. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Off topic MWC 2016 news: Surface Pro 4 wins award of Best Mobile Tablet. https://twitter.com/GSMA/status/701803783291015168

22. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Never with Apple and I'm not with them here either. There IS a way to get this information w/o compromising anything. And I really don't care what precedence it sets. If the government wants pictures of my kids or to watch me play CoC, be my guest. Privacy is a self righteous argument for those who don't like authority.

24. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"Privacy is a self righteous argument for those who don't like authority." Hitler was once authority, did you like him?

34. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

They own the phone, phone can be unlocked as the owner is asking, what this got to do with privacy, it will only be a problem if th owner was not asking, then I have a problem

21. jellmoo

Posts: 2701; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I love the fact that Apple is explaining the situation in very simple terms. This is ultimately a privacy issue. A very serious one. Love Apple or hate them, they are absolutely the good guys in this case, and I hope they continue this fight.

13. htcisthebest

Posts: 440; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

I am getting bored on this Apple lock vs. unlock story. Let me spend the time to pre-order the Galaxy S7 :P

10. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Given their total transparency in that report, I'm really liking where Apple stands in this case. Thank you very much for actually caring about privacy Tim Cook. The fact that the FBI themselves changed the password to begin with just further paints this as another staging by the government, using fear tactics. If they have the iCloud account password (which they do, as they changed it), can't they get the contacts they've been in touch with (if any) and question them? Also, Apple has already handed over data from iCloud backups, which if it ever existed, definitely contains messages as you don't have the option to not include messages in an iCloud backup: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4411856?start=0&tstart=0 So, what more does the FBI want from within the device that hasn't already been handed over to them? BBM messages?

14. BobLawblaw unregistered

They want to further erode the privacy of US citizens..

70. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well I wont go so far as to say Apple cares about privacy. What they do care about is making such a tool available, will ruin the security of their brand, which they lie about on a daily basis. It woudl also put their own lives in jeopardy as any store could be attacked in retribution. Which means innocent lives of people who simply work for Apple and may not specifically agree with them, woudl still be killed. Then also consider that Apple marketing would be broken, their reputation wouldn't also be hurt. The Feds have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Apple is goign to have to deal with backlash whether they comply or not. But not complying in this case is the best alternative. It seems like they could just take the internal flash and just pull the data off.

71. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

That's a possibility for sure, given all their history of hypocrisy (bit.ly/1si5DVX). "It seems like they could just take the internal flash and just pull the data off." Not without creating that software tool first to break their encryption. Which when they do it once, they'll be pressured into doing it again and again for all the 100s of iPhones the FBI say they want apple to unlock. Or even worse, the FBI would get a warrant confiscate ALL their data centers in order to dig into each drive in search of bits of the software tool they previous used...who knows how advanced their data recovery software could be.

9. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

They're not going to find anything on that phone anyway, the terrorists knew they would be killed and have their phones taken. The Gov just wants a backdoor into Apple's software that's what this is really about.

8. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Just f**king open it.....

40. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

I'm with you. If they don't open it, Obama will kick their @ss. Because Apple was saved by Obama for the banned on IPhones by Samsung. Apple owes the favour back.

57. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

Obama has never kicked anyone's ***. As to the second part of your statement, you are describing and corrupt, fascistic system. If you'd like one, go to North Korea or something. Really I don't care where you go, but you don't belong in the US.

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