Industry News

Apple declines FBI requests to create backdoor

Apple announced it will oppose a court order to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter to avoid endangering the privacy of millions.

“Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the US government,” Apple CEO Tim Cook says in an open letter.

The FBI is looking for information that may be on Syed Rizwan Farook ‘s employer-issued phone as it investigates the shootings that left 14 people dead in December.

A federal judge in California ordered Apple to help the US government unlock and decrypt the iPhone 5C. In the past Apple had no problem doing so, as long as a warrant was issued. However, with iOS 8, Apple announced full encryption to ensure the privacy and security of its users.

“It’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8,” the site read.

The FBI wants Apple to create a backdoor that allows brute-forcing the code that locks the phone.

“Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation,” Cook says. “In the wrong hands, this software – which does not exist today – would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

So, a sort of master key to decrypt all phones.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control,” Apple says.

About the author

Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.