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



97. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

I respect your view and am actually impressed that you have taken the time to learn about our country's declaration. But, here is the issue that seems to puzzle me. I'm not sure if you are defending the 200 year old constitution or denouncing it. In one post you claim the declaration is not designed for modern age, yet, you seem to be using it to defend your belief. I understand where you may feel the need to defend it and I will not argue your choice. But, to pick portions of it as defense and throw away the rest, seems rather contradictive. John B.

92. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

People are not understanding this as a publicity stunt and jumping on the debate.. New apple products are around the corner.. so all this security hype for more sales......

80. Chuck007

Posts: 1423; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Great, so they are basically acting like Chinese Communist Party (and they have the gall to often point the finger). It's obvious they can hack into the phone without Apple's help but they want easy backdoor access into every single iPhone thus comprimising every user worldwide.

87. Chuck007

Posts: 1423; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Btw if it sounds like I hate America... I don't. I am just highly disappointed because they are moving away from what made the nation so great in the first place.

73. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Hopefully Apple won't give them that either. I wish the Feds would come to my property if it was mine. I'd have armour gun toting guys just waiting and soon as one piece of sh!t from the areas come on my property they are gone. Court orders don't do are me. What you going to do, jail the whole company? I be like come and get it fans and it will be the last time you come get anything from me.

96. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

The workers don't have to be jailed. Simply freezing and seizing their assets is all that needs to be done. Apple source code is kept at a local office. When they shut down the power grid to the entire complex, escort everyone out. Step in, crack their password and take the OS as they please.

61. TheRealist

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 06, 2016

You goons think the government hasn't entered that iPhone ? Apple is trying to convince people it cares about security to promote the sales of iPhones. Another marketing trick.

58. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

As an older poster on this site, I am looking at the reasoning that almost every mathematician, scientist and electronics engineer has suggested highly that no one should ever rely on a personal electronics device to store personal DNA(all your important information) that you don't want to know about. Just as computers have been seized for decades in criminal investigations and landlines being monitored, modern times have created the need for more modern thinking in how to help prevent serious casualties and events. Just so people think that I am not out of touch with reality and technology, I am a service technician with 26+ years of experience. Thousands of today's electronic products essentially store information about users or owners that could incriminate anyone on any level of seriousness. Various appliances that monitor cleaning cycles and usage. A customer cannot lie to me and tell me they clean their appliance when the history within the computer specifically tells me cleaning cycles were repeatedly skipped. Want to tell me again why GE should cover your repair? Cars have black boxes that monitor how the driver was operating their vehicle before impact of crash. No officer, I wasn't swerving all over the road and then breaked heavily before rear ending the victim's car. It is said that anything "smart" branded, wifi capable, wireless capable etc, should not be used to house every bit of our personal lives. I'm not for Apple and I'm not for the FBI. What I am concerned about is people using something they own as thinking they are, or should be invisible or even immune to investigation. Remember this: Nobody knows more about an Apple user than Apple itself or Google on their Android users or Google searches. How do you think they conduct research and development on their products? John B.

71. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

John B. Knows whats up.

77. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010


41. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

I'm starting to have trouble believing this whole story. The FBI can't unlock an iPhone, seriously!!! The government always has a way, it's hard to believe that they don't. Maybe this whole story is made in order to make us believe that our phones are extremely secure when in fact their not. Edward Snowden does not believe this either, making it all that easier for me to have my own doubts.

44. Acdc1a

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

Snowden doesn't believe that they can't get in, neither do I.

94. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

True government tech is about 20yrs ahead, this includes related pc technology. This is about setting a president in the courts.

38. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

wow, threatening, ok, but don't they realize that if they force Apple to do this, I predict a LARGE exodus from America when it comes to computer companies, moving their headquarters and data centers somewhere else, because there is no way anyone would be safe if Apple the big "american" company, then what would they possibly do against other companies for lesser issues, I mean its been proven time and time again, that once the government has something it leaks everywhere.

40. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

So you think that the Govt has more or less chances than leaking something than Apple. Really? Anything can be leaked even in Apples hands. You see stuff being leaked from Apple all of the time. They can just ban the sale of those products of companies refuse to follow our laws. We live in an age where our government needs ways to investigate internet, computer, technology based crimes. You people prefer to protect criminals. Truth is, credit card companies, social media, web based servers, etc... They all have your information already. The only thing your doing is stopping the same government that can help protect your information.

43. Acdc1a

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

The IRS was hacked in 2015 and 2016 exposing at a minimum hundreds of thousands of social security numbers and IRS PINs for returns. So who would you rather have in charge of source code? I'm very concerned for your mental well being based on your posts.

50. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

So all those mentioned companies have our personal thoughts, pictures, credit cards, bills, personal conversations, EVERYTHING in one place? Come on dude you really can't be so thick

53. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

You seem to misunderstand. I'm saying if they force the hand over of their source code, that's bad, that's is Apple's product and if forced to hand it over it might get leaked at a significantly higher chance then it would otherwise, governments around the world do not have the best of track record. That is why it is concerning. Yes, they need to be able to investigate, of course they do, but the information should be handed over to them by a court order, and only said information, they should not get a golden key so they can on their own time just unlock and peek, especially not given the nature of how such golden keys would easily spread. In this case, they messed up, Apple 'could' have given them a way to unlock the product, under court order, a key to the door if you will, but the government decided to change the lock, except they changed it to some random lock. And now they basically are asking for a way to decrypt all the encrypted data, making the whole point of encryption moot, they should not have messed up the door/password.

105. Cetekel

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 19, 2016

You're a moron. First of all, the "key" doesn't yet exist. Second, if it were created, it would have to literally be duplicated 1000's of times to be used in every court case that requires it. If you weren't so naive, you'd realize that a key being unscrupulously handed out to everyone who requests it would inevitably be leaked.

34. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Why is this any different than computers? Dont you think computers get hacked by local PD to find child pornography? Do you think a criminal has that reasonable privacy? Get out of here. I swear. You people amaze me sometimes. SMH. It's like on another level of dumb. lol

39. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Closed ecosystem, that is closed for a reason. Once governments get ahold of something it leaks all over the place, that much has been seen before. This isn't about his or not his rights, because they could probably crack it on their own without too much issue, I seriously doubt that iOS is "that" secure, most anything can be broken into with enough effort and time. But time and effort is something they don't want to put breaking the phone at any rate, they would rather pull them into court and get Apple to open up? exposing everyone's privacy and the safety of their ecosystem?

70. Furbal unregistered

Different scenarios, but I guess your can't see that. If that criminal used COTS encryption software to lock up their files, then the gov couldn't hack it and they went to the software creator to create a back door for their entire customer base, then it would be similar and it should not be done. They have every right to investigate and attempt to get information they want, they still have to follow rules though

104. Cetekel

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 19, 2016

Who said anything about protecting criminal's privacy? You are just a pretentious idiot who doesn't understand the first thing about our legal system or the technology that you are talking about, and have to use strawman arguments to further your point since otherwise you would have no real basis for your argument.. If you really don't see the ramifications this case could have, then you are literally the most hard-headed moron I've ever met. If Apple must comply with the government and create a backdoor in their software, then it doesn't just affect this case, it would set a precedent. Then, in any future case, the government could compel companies to put backdoors in their software. The NSA is just waiting for this to happen so they can place backdoors in all of the major operating systems and spy on the citizens they are supposed to be protecting. Even if Apple simply hands over the source code and key for the government to create the backdoor themselves, Apple would have to do so for every case that requires them to do so. That means that the key that is able to unlock all iPhones and grant access to your private data would have to be duplicated 1000's of times. If you actually possessed any critical thinking skills, you would realize that the key would be leaked as soon as this precedent is set and jeopardize everyone's private data just to potentially stop a couple of criminals. Next time before posting stupid comments, at least do the basic research about the topics you are discussing so you don't end up sounding like a complete moron.

24. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Oh god. You conspiracy theorists are the worst. Most of you would be the ones fighting for your "Rights" and have never even read the Bill of Rights. lmao. You don't know the way our criminal justice system works or due process. You would see that our government is within their legal ground. This is not considered a violation of your privacy. They want Farooks info and Farooks only. They asked Apple to do it for them. They denied. So, they can subpoena the code information to continue their investigation. If that leads them to a backdoor, so be it. It's Apple's fault for not complying with the court order. Apple needs to turn over the info and I hope they are held in contempt. Plain and simple.

25. jellmoo

Posts: 2717; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

What a complete and utter pile of tripe. This is about the government having access to force a company to create new software with the express purpose of gaining a backdoor to personal information. They are trying to use a centuries old law in order to force a company to compromise their product offering and fold the very real expectation to privacy that people have and expect.

27. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I laugh because you dont even know what you're talking about. You dont even know when to expect privacy and when not to. You obviously havent taken a look at the fourth amendment. With many of you that post on here. It clearly mentions the words unreasonable, warrants, probable cause, persons, things, etc... There are times during an investigation when YOU can discover evidence by these means. Its nothing new. But people are making a big deal because its a cell phone. Its no different than obtaining a warrant to search a home or related property to a crime with reasonable suspicion that there will be evidence. There is REASONABLE evidence that there MIGHT be a co-conspirator in relation to the crime. And APPLE is withholding digital information within their reach and refusing to follow a court order.

28. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Agreed 100%. Half the conspiracy nuts here just hate anything to do with the government in general. It's easy to talk big behind a computer screen.

29. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

It just amazes me that they act like they know what they're talking about. smh. They think their rights get violated when its right there on paper.

32. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Like I said they don't know what they are talking about. If anything comments and support like the above just support the notion the internet is a breeding ground for misinformation, people who think they know what they are talking about, and all around ignorance.

33. Acdc1a

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

Apple is withholding nothing. They're refusing to create something out of thin air on the government's whim. This is not a 4th amendment issue as it's hard to confer rights on someone who is dead. Now this is a 1st Amendment issue. Is source code protected speech? That's the question that has to be asked. I'm tired of computer constitutional scholars. You probably think that the constitution is a living, breathing document too.

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