The debate continues between Apple and the F.B.I. regarding the tech companies' stance on encryption with direct relation to the December 2015 San Bernardino attack that left 14 people dead and 22 with serious injuries.
Apple had a big week planned starting with their keynote yesterday where they announced the iPhone SE, and followed by a court date before a magistrate judge with the Federal Bureau of Investigation scheduled for this morning, March 22.
The White House and Apple have had a rollercoaster relationship throughout the years, including highs like working together to persuade China not to force phone makers to give authorities a key to unlock a handset’s encryption. The San Bernardino attack has not only pitted the two against each other but has also brought up old wounds that have been simmering since Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations that the United States was collecting Americans’ personal data. Ever since Apple released FaceTime in 2010, allowing users to have encrypted video conversations, law enforcement officials have been lobbying for new legislation that would make it easier to unlock data on mobile devices with warrants. Such efforts have been shut down by the White House Administration in the past, but they now have a case with national security implications they can use to press their argument that Apple has gone too far with iOS 8.
With everyone seeing a close eye on this case it comes as a surprise that the Justice Department said on Monday that they may no longer need Apple’s assistance in unlocking the iPhone used by a gunman in the San Bernardino terror attack. In a new court filing the government said an outside party has found a way to access the phone without Apple’s help.
Judge Sheri N. Pym, the federal magistrate judge in the United States District Court for Central District of California who was set to hold the hearing today granted the Justice Department’s motion to postpone the hearing, leaving everyone to wonder if this is a strategic move and what Apple’s next move will be.
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