The FBI says they don’t need Apple

This week the FBI put the final nail in their court case with Apple over the San Bernardino phone. They asked the judge presiding on the case to vacate the order that tried to compel Apple to help them break into the phone. The FBI acknowledged that they were able to access the phone with the help of a 3rd party security company after all.

The fight over security and national security is not over though. PC World reports the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has identified 64 cases where the US Department of Justice has requested cooperation from Apple or Google under the All Writs Order to unlock mobile devices. 7 of the 9 cases involving Google asked for a password reset. 30 of the cases are from 2015 or later. This is in addition to 12 cases identified by Apple’s lawyer Marc Zwillinger in February.



Apple Vs FBI canceled due to Hacker

Remember that court case where the FBI was trying to force Apple to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter? Well, that’s on hold for now. This Monday, the FBI filed a motion to vacate Tuesday’s hearing and issue a stay for Apple to assist the FBI. On Sunday a third party demonstrated to the FBI a method for unlocking the phone without Apple’s assistance. US Magistrate Sheri Pym canceled Tuesday’s hearing and issued a stay. The FBI asked for two weeks to test the new method. The FBI must give the judge a status report by April 5.

There are rumors that Israeli security firm, Cellebrite who specializes in recovering data from cellphones, is the company helping the FBI.



Apple and the FBI report to Congress

This week Apple and the FBI have presented its case for maintaining the strength of its encryption to an audience that may ultimately have the final say: Congress. 9 to 5 Mac summarized the main points from each side during the 5 hours of testimony.

Apple Vs the FBI part Duex

This week the Verge reports that a filing by Apple in response to a Eastern District of New York court request shows 13 Apple devices are subjects of court orders by the FBI in five different court districts, using the All Writs Act as justification. Additionally, the Manhattan District Attorney said his district alone had possession of 175 different devices that it was unable to decrypt.  

·       This week Apple filed a motion to vacate the court order requiring it to assist the FBI in cracking the passcode of an iPhone 5C. Apple said in a conference call that the FBI wanted a government OS and that Apple would have to build an “FBI forensics lab” at its headquarters. Apples filing denies that that the All Writs act provides a basis to “conscript apple to create software enabling the government to hack into phones.” It also argues the order would violate the first amendment and the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause to be free of arbitrary deprivation of its liberty.

·        Apple has received support from Verizon, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. All who plan to file an amicus brief in support of Apple in the San Bernardino case.