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A Forensics Expert’s View into the FBI’s Request

The more we learn about the Apple/FBI dustup, the more clear it has become that this is actually a subtle and dangerous game of chess. The latest insight comes from Jonathan Zdziarski, considered to be among the world’s leading experts in iOS-related forensics. In a blog post, Zdziarski explains the difference between “lab services” and developing an “instrument.” Apple has provided one-off lab services in the past to help law enforcement recover data when required by law. But developing an instrument is a tremendously involved, verified, documented, tested, and validated process. It would require significant resources and would result in the hacking tool being made public and usable by any law enforcement or intelligence agency — along with foreign governments and criminal organizations. That’s why Apple is resisting.

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