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Cybersecurity & Standards, Government Surveillance

Apple Right to Oppose Order to Unlock iPhone

The FBI has obtained an order, in connection with the San Bernardino attacks, which would require Apple to produce malware for the FBI that the agency would use to hack into an iPhone that Apple built.  The malware, which does not exist today, would disable a feature on the phone that makes it difficult for people who don’t know the iPhone’s password to guess the password repeatedly, until eventually the password is guessed and the phone is unlocked.  The following statement is from Greg Nojeim, Director of the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT):

“The court is ordering Apple to create a backdoor into an iPhone’s operating system, citing a law adopted in 1789. If the order stands, the defective operating system (iOS) could be installed over any existing version of iOS, enabling law enforcement officials to guess the password on a cell phone.  If the order stands, Apple and other technology companies could be ordered to build backdoors – essentially defects –  into other devices, rendering them insecure and vulnerable to attack by law enforcement and by others as well. We will fight against this result.”