Justice Department looking to have Apple help extract data from 12 additional iPhones

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Date: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016, 07:12
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security


The plot thickens.

In the midst of the controversy between Apple and the Department of Justice regarding the unlocking of the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone, the U.S. Department of Justice is pursuing additional court orders that would force Apple to help federal investigators extract data from twelve other encrypted iPhones that may contain crime-related evidence.

The revelation comes nearly one week after a U.S. federal judge ordered Apple to assist the FBI with unlocking an iPhone belonging to suspected San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Apple strongly opposed the court order last week in an open letter to customers.

The twelve cases are similar to the San Bernadino case in that prosecutors have elected to use the 18th-century All Writs Act to force Apple to comply, albeit none of the other cases are related to terrorism charges and most involve older versions of iOS software.

In the past, Apple has extracted data from iPhones under lawful court orders, but the company stopped storing encryption keys for devices running iOS 8 or later. As a result of this stronger protection, Apple cannot assist the FBI without circumventing iOS security and putting the privacy and safety of its customers at risk.

Apple has cited what creating a “government-ordered backdoor” is technically possibly, although company CEO Tim Cook has likened this to opening a Pandora’s box, stating that the backdoor could fall into the wrong hands and be impossible to unmake in the long run.

Apple has until Friday, February 26th, to file its first legal arguments in a California court.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via MacRumors and the Wall Street Journal

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