Friday, 19 February 2016

# Apple # Foreign News

Despite Unlocking Dozens Of Other Phones, ... Technology Giant Apple Turn Down Federal Court Decision To Unlock Terrorist iphone

 
Apple is appealing a federal court decision ordering them to crack the passcode of a terrorist's iPhone to allow the FBI to access the data on the handset, despite unlocking dozens of other phones in recent years.

The company has written an open letter to its customers assuring them that their private data is safe, yet law enforcement authorities complain that the same software is being used by criminals.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has criticised the decision to compel the company to access the data on Syed Farook's phone, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in a December attack in San Bernardino, California. Farook's iPhone 5C is protected by a four-digit code, which if is entered incorrectly ten times, will prompt the handset to delete all of the data.
Syed Farook with his wife, Tashfeen Malik,
The FBI wants Apple to develop software to bypass this safety feature. They also want a second piece of software to allow them to try thousands of code combinations in a minute to reduce the length of time it would take to 'guess' the correct code.

FBI Director James Comey has complained publicly about terrorists using advanced encryption to communicate secretly.

According to the Daily Beast, Apple has complied with 70 similar requests for assistance accessing iPhones since 2008, figures which the company does not dispute.

In a briefing for the court Apple said: ‘For these devices, Apple has the technical ability to extract certain categories of unencrypted data from a passcode locked iOS device’.
Apple said that it did not want to do so because ‘forcing Apple to extract data…absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand’.

It said: ‘This reputational harm could have a longer term economic impact beyond the mere cost of performing the single extraction at issue’.

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