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Sunday, November 29, 2020

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Apple again comes under pressure from FBI for criminal access to iPhone

Following a shooting at the US naval base in Florida, the FBI is asking Apple to access the suspect’s iPhone. According to authorities, the suspect, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was participating in a naval base training program when the shooting occurred.

NBC further advanced that Alshamrani was able to obtain a firearm by exploiting a system failure. Although not an American citizen, Alshamrani got the gun because the state of Florida allows hunting guns to be obtained even from non-citizens.

Meanwhile, Apple responded to the FBI by stating that it had already relinquished all information it had in its databases regarding the suspect’s iPhone. Even so, the investigative body is not satisfied and is likely to continue to press Cupertino’s company to reveal more details.

Situation may bring an old dispute between FBI and companies

For several years now, the FBI has been insisting that companies like Apple (and other mobile phone manufacturers) should be required by law to unlock phones belonging to suspicious individuals, even if it means “breaking” their privacy.

In relation to this dispute, Tim Cook said in 2016 that such a concept would only be possible by creating iPhones that the FBI could easily unlock through a “master key”. Such an idea would jeopardize the privacy of all consumers and put a burden on the company’s developers, Cook said.

The most famous case came in 2016, when the FBI asked Apple to unlock Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone, who was responsible for a terrorist attack in California. Supposedly, after an unsuccessful negotiation with Apple, the FBI paid the Israeli company Cellebrite to unlock the device.

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