Monday, April 19, 2021

The Story Behind the FBI Lawsuit Against Apple in the San Bernardino Terrorist Attack


Security is an interesting thing, truly the blade that cuts both ways.  Security in our devices keeps them from potentially being accessed by unauthorized individuals.  However, not everyone who uses a device is as honest and trustworthy as most of us.  What I mean by that is the security that keeps everyone secure is used by honest people and dishonest people as well.

While most people want to keep their banking info safe, a drug dealer can use the same security to keep info at bay from law enforcement.

The most clear example of this paradox in recent history is the case of the San Bernardino Shooters.  In 2015 a man and his wife, inspired by ISIS, killed 14 people and injured 22 others when they opened fire at a holiday gathering of the husband's coworkers.

The FBI was concerned that the couple were part of a terrorist cell and wanted to make sure that no other attacks were being planned.  In order to help with that, the FBI needed access to an iPhone that was recovered and owned by the attackers.

The FBI went to Apple and requested they figure out a way to bypass the encryption built into the device.  Apple refused, feeling that creating such a back door would harm their security and weaken protection for every iPhone user.  The FBI took Apple to court in an effort to compel them to break into the phone.  It became a huge media story as the Federal Government tried to force the world's largest technology company to do something it didn't want to do.

Then... just as the case was about to go to court, the FBI withdrew their lawsuit.  Rumors abounded that the FBI had found a company that provided a way into the phone.  There was lots of speculation, but as time passed, the story faded from the media.

Now five years later the story has finally been unraveled.  If you are a tech lover like me, you'll find it fascinating.  Here is a link to the story that appears on the Washington Post website.  Enjoy!

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