San Bernardino PD: iPhone Probably Doesn’t have Useful Data

| News

The iPhone recovered from Syed Farook after he shot and killed 14 coworkers and then died in a shootout with police most likely doesn't hold any valuable information. So says San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan.

Police say San Bernardino shooter's iPhone likely doesn't have useful dataPolice say San Bernardino shooter's iPhone likely doesn't hold useful data

Chief Burguan was asked about the phone during an NPR interview and he replied,

I'll be honest with you, I think that there is a reasonably good chance that there is nothing of any value on the phone. What we are hoping might be on the phone would be potential contacts that we would obviously want to talk to.

Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 of their San Bernardino County Department of Public Health coworkers in December 2015, and injured 22 more. They left the scene and were later killed in a shootout with police, after which Mr. Farook's work-issued iPhone was recovered.

The FBI enlisted Apple's help to recover data from the iPhone and were able to get data from its last backup from about two months prior to the mass shooting. FBI agents asked Apple to unlock the iPhone so they could look for more recent data, but when Apple said that wasn't possible agents turned to the courts for an order compelling the company to create a special version of the iPhone's operating system that bypasses the built-in security measures preventing brute force attacks on passcodes.

Apple chose to contest the order calling it a government overreach and a threat to privacy and security. The iPhone maker filed a motion to vacate the order yesterday that argues the government doesn't have the legal right to demand the weaker iOS version.

Apple has also argued it creates a dangerous precedent where law enforcement agencies line up with orders forcing companies to bypass security measures so they can access encrypted data. FBI director James Comey insisted that's not the case, but now has reversed course saying it "will be instructive for other courts," and that it will "guide how other courts handle similar requests."

In other words it will, in fact, set a precedent regarding how courts handle law enforcement requests for companies to create tools to bypass their own security and encryption measures. That means the real value in the court order, at least as far as law enforcement agencies are concerned, is in the precedent it could set.

Chief Burguan did his part to support that notion.

"The worst-case scenario obviously, is that maybe there was some information on there that would lead to a larger plot or to a larger network and therefore are other people out there that are still a potential danger," he said. "I think the probability is probably low, but it could be."

Comments

Lee Dronick

That it is what I think, nothing of value to the FBI on the work phone. Farook probably thought the County was monitoring the work phone and the FBI should be able to get the numbers that called him and that he called. He destroyed their personal phones and computers, any information that the FBI wants would be on those.

Russ Hilton

The problem with this request by the FBI or for that matter any government agency is that history shows that one time only would never happen. Currently the FBI is involved in something like 12 cases involving iPhones, which provides evidence that the FBI would in fact make use of what they are demanding from Apple to secure information from at least this many iPhones. My question for everyone opposing Apple’s refusal is where in the history of this country has the Federal Government ever done anything only once? Also, do those opposing Apple not remember the fight against the NSA’s acquiring information about millions of our citizens. What is happening today in our country brings to mind George Orwell’s book 1984 with all the stories of the government investigating and possibly prosecuting people who only voiced their opinion. Personally, I trust the Federal Government as far as I could toss my car.

Thomas Marble Peak

#StandWithApple Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, WhatsApp, and others on privacy. Add your name >>> http://1.usa.gov/1R9A4cM

Fulwild

FBI already has all numbers in and out from phone logs. All calls outside US are recorded by NSA. Probably all calls within US if you have any contact with anyone who might have in anyway possibly spoken to anyone in anyway related to terrorism.
They use a lot of data storage. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Data_Center

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