Attorney General Barr Asks Apple to Break Encryption

Supreme court

Attorney General William Barr has asked Apple to unlock the iPhone used by the shooter in Pensacola, Florida (via NYT).

Encrypted iPhones

Although no one has called for Apple to explicitly create a backdoor into iOS’s encryption (yet), that is what they’re implying. Apple is unable to unlock the iPhones without knowing the passcode. The company did share data in iCloud backups with the FBI though.

Apple is able to do this because the decryption keys to iCloud backups are stored on its servers, in the event a customer loses their passcode. But it also enables them to share the data with third parties. It’s not true end-to-end encryption.

The San Bernardino dispute was resolved when the F.B.I. found a private company to bypass the iPhone’s encryption. Tensions between the two sides, however, remained; and Apple worked to ensure that neither the government nor private contractors could open its phones.

Officials specifically want access to the shooter conversations in WhatsApp and Signal to figure out whether he planned it with others in the naval base or worked alone.

Further Reading

[FBI Paid $900K for San Bernardino iPhone Hack]

[EU Wants to Standardize Smartphone Charging Ports]

3 thoughts on “Attorney General Barr Asks Apple to Break Encryption

  • This is just more “push” from the totalitarian minded Trump Justice Department. If you think 1984’s 2 way screen on the wall is dystopian fantasy, extrapolate from “the government needs access to everything you do”.

    1. As opposed to the totalitarian Obama Justice Department that took Apple to court over encryption. All governments are whizzed because they always had warrantless access to everything people did and only pretended there was privacy.

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