Government threatens to force Apple to turn over iOS source code if it won't unlock Farook's iPhone

Government threatens to force Apple to turn over iOS source code if it won't unlock Farook's iPhone
When the DOJ filled its response on Thursday to Apple's latest brief, it took a harsher tone than it had previously. The government threatened to take the entire source code to iOS and the "private electronic signature" that is required for access to the code. With those two items, the government will be able to build its own Govt.OS and unlock the Apple iPhone 5c that was used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook.

The government is convinced that there could be useful information inside the phone, including the name of a possible third shooter than some witnesses claimed to have seen. For its part, Apple says that building the special version of iOS that would satisfy the government's request would be like playing with fire. If the code were to get into the wrong hands, every iPhone user in the world would have the information they store in their handset vulnerable to being stolen. This battle could go on until the case finally reaches the Supreme Court. Whoever loses at the District Court level is bound to appeal.

As we told you the other day, Apple believes that the DOJ is getting desperate, which explains why the government's rhetoric bar has been raised. But Apple is also in attack mode as in-house attorney Bruce Sewell called the government's filing a smear job.

By demanding the iOS source code and electronic signature, the government is trying to be cute. They are presenting this as an option that Apple can choose from if it doesn't want to build the new OS to provide the back door that the government seeks.

Both Apple and the government will present their cases in front of a judge on March 22nd. 

Thanks for the tip!

source: NYPost

Story timeline



1. Unordinary unregistered

Wasn't code recently passed as free speech under constitutional amendment....?

2. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

'The government is convinced that there could be useful information inside the phone, including the name of a possible third shooter than some witnesses claimed to have seen.' Does government actually think, the 3rd shooter is still in the country taking his chances and hoping for Apple to win ?

15. ZetZet

Posts: 22; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

that doesn't matter, more names means more connections means more information, it's still a good chance that they find something that's why they won't give up. They aren't neccesarily trying to catch that guy, but his name might lead to more connections.

30. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

If you think the government CAN'T get into that phone, I have some land to sell you. This is some dangerous territory and for once I'm siding with Apple.

36. ZetZet

Posts: 22; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

They really can't. Even for Apple it would take some serious reverse engineering. That's why they want source code now.

3. Ankit_27

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 20, 2016

I don't like Apple but it's really admirable to see them take a stand for people. They might have their business interest in mind but still it's a nice thing.

54. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

You know, so easy to sit there and say those things and pretend to be admirable of Apple, but guaranteed, you'd be singing a whole different tune if it was your family that got wiped out by these terrorists! Or if it was Cook's family that got annilated, he'd have a different tune as well.

57. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

even the husband is siding with Apple in this case.

68. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

You sure he just doesn't want closure and wants to forget about all of this?

107. Cetekel

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 19, 2016

Or because he doesn't want everyone's right to privacy to be relinquished because of a few people's deaths? Far more people die in car crashes, so according to your logic, we should just ban all cars.

59. Dee79

Posts: 307; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

People? These are animals! Actually that isn't nice to say about animals...

4. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Guys this is a better news. Samsung has released the source code for Exynos 8890

37. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014


62. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

Too bad exynos is no longer in American galaxies. Meaning many of us aren't going back to Samsung

5. Mr_Popo

Posts: 23; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

Time for iOS to go open source and encryption software to be standard on every android/iOS distro

6. Crims

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

I think what really needs discussed here, does a company have the right to negate the government's ability to lawful search and seizure. Up til now it's it's mainly been a software issue with the government IT team finding a work around or brute force attack, but Apple has gone a step further with it's software/hardware combination and it's bricking capabilities. Literately erasing potential evidence. I understand the whole issue with privacy and government overreach and it leaves me conflicted to justify what the government is doing. On the other hand, I would not want to see a world were the governments ability to carry out it's duties is dictated by a corporation. I don't see any good coming out of this either way.

12. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

It is a complicated issue morally. ....but it boils down to....can the Government force Apple to make something that doesn't exist

21. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

If the wrong password is entered in to an iPhone too many times, it does not brick the phone. It wipes the phones internal storage. Point being on this issue is had the FBI not had the SB Health department reset the iCloud password then this would not have been an issue and Apple would have been able to comply with turning over the "information" that the government is soo desperately seeking. I think this whole thing smells fishy, like the FBI kind of knew what they were doing in order to provoke Apple into building or turning over any information about a possible backdoor into iOS they might have and that does not sit well with me. That shouldn't sit well with anyone....


Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

For a moment, I read it as sauce code lol

8. deebunk

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Apple to FBI: OK we'll trade our labor to open the source code for this one phone in exchange for, (1) drop all charges on Edward Snowden and let him come home, (2) release the truth about 911 and the demolition of WTC (3) you agree to pay $50 million per infringement of any future phone hacks to be paid from the FBI retirement fund.

11. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

You know they wouldn't agree to that. It would completely shut them down. The fbi comes across as desperate and pathetic.

10. Zylam

Posts: 1816; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

The FBI is going to get their private parts handed to them on a sliver platter. They've made themselves look like a baby crying for a candy bar the baby next to them has. It's beyond obvious they couldn't care less about the data on the 5C and just want a back door into iOS. Android probably has a back door and now they want one from Apple to complete their control over people's personal data.

14. jwainwright

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Our government can not be trusted to use tools, such as what they are wanting from Apple, in the best interest of our nation, in part because they do not properly vet employees. Just a few months ago, December of 2015, a meth lab was discovered INSIDE the offices of the NIST in Maryland. During February of 2016, the FBI and the DHS each had their servers hacked, and data from tens of thousands of employees was stolen. They each claim it was facilitated by "malicious employees". It is not the first time government agencies have been hacked and had data stolen. In some other cases, government agencies have had hardware stolen, too. The FBI can not possibly claim with any credibility that anything Apple gives them will be safe from the hands of hackers, cybercriminals and/or our enemies.

67. Furbal unregistered

*no government

16. rotkiv3451

Posts: 85; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

I'm quite scared. We all know the government has the means to "convince" the judge to rule in their favor, because they're corrupt as s**t. They couldn't give a crap about the phone in question, what they want is a free pass to steal information from ONE BILLION DEVICES WORLDWIDE. Spying will have never been so easy. I say that if Apple is forced to do such a thing, they should shut iOS down worldwide. I know they couldn't handle the implications (no one could), but it would be the fair thing to do.

17. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013


18. jellmoo

Posts: 2585; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

What an absolute pile of filth. It's depressing to see a government go into the business of fear mongering in order to gain tools to erode privacy.

31. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

It's been happening for decades accelerated by 9/11. The tools that keep voting for the 2 major parties are the reason for it and until something changes on that front...well...

19. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

yes..make it happen...we want IOS open source project

20. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

And here I thought America was supposed to be the land of the free...

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