Husband of San Bernadino shooting survivor takes Apple’s side in iPhone encryption controversy

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Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2016, 12:36
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software


While a recent poll has suggested that the majority of Americans support the FBI and would have Apple decrypt the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c, Apple apparently has the backing of the husband of one of the survivors of the terrorist attack, which left 14 people dead and 22 others seriously injured, after he changed his mind over the case.

Salihin Kondoker, whose wife Anies Kondoker was shot three times in the attack but avoided the main hall after taking a trip to the bathroom, filed a friend of the court brief siding with Apple in its dispute with the FBI. Writing in a letter to Judge Sheri Pym, Kondoker, Kondoker explains how his opinion on the case turned when he delved deeper into the longer term implications of the FBI’s order.

Konoker offered the following:

“When I first learned Apple was opposing the order I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock. But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand that this software the government wants them to use will be used against millions of other innocent people. I share their fear,” he writes.

In the statement, Kondoker acknowledged that the iPhone 5c was owned and operated by the County of DSan Bernadino and that it was unlikely that the iPhone held confidential information which would help with the case.

“Why then would someone store vital contacts related to an attack on a phone they knew the county had access to. They destroyed their personal phones after the attack. And I believe they did that for a reason,” Kondoker says.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who called the FBI’s request that Apple develop a backdoor for law enforcement to break encryption on its devices “chilling”, stated that it was possible for the backdoor to fall into the wrong hands and cause damage to “hundreds of millions” of people.

“We have no sympathy for terrorists,” Cook said. “We’re not protecting their privacy, we’re protecting the rights… and public safety of everyone else… Developing that software, it’s so powerful it has the capability to unlock other iPhones. That is the issue.”

From his perspective, FBI director James Comey said the FBI isn’t out to create a backdoor or ongoing access to iPhones. Apple claims it has provided all of the user data that it has on file for Farook, but Comey suggested that the FBI has a duty to leave no stone unturned in its search for information.

“Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn’t. But we can’t look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don’t follow this lead.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via TechCrunch, BuzzFeed and LawFare

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