Apple Answers More Questions about FBI Court Order
As speculation swirls about the implications of Apple resisting the FBI’s request for help accessing an iPhone used by one of the assailants in the San Bernardino terrorism case, the company has posted another public statement answering some of the questions that have arisen. In particular, Apple explains why it objects to the government’s court order, whether or not the FBI’s request is technically feasible, why such a technical solution could not be contained, and more. One particular note — despite what has appeared in the media, Apple says it has never previously unlocked iPhones. Prior to iOS 8, Apple had extracted unencrypted data from locked iPhones for law enforcement, using a technique that didn’t require them to be unlocked. The encryption in iOS 8 and iOS 9 makes that impossible now.
It sounds like prior to iOS 8, Sept 2014, this current dispute would not have arisen. Is that correct?
Yes, that's correct, since Apple could have extracted the data without unlocking the iPhone.
Interesting that we all lived with much weaker iphone security for quite a long time, but now the possibility of even a small step backwards seems so intolerable.
It's by no means a 'small' step backward. After Snowden's revealings, this change was a game-changer.
This change was precisely the step that allowed law-abiding iOS users to ensure their own privacy rather than having to rely on Apple to not - willingly or unwillingly - disclose any user information without a court order.
Breaking this once now means it will be broke again. And then, once again, law-abiding citizens will have to assume their private data can be viewed at any time without their consent or a court order. I'm not willing to accept such a massive curtailing of my rights just because the FBI bungled the investigation of this one iPhone.