FBI is telling anti-encryption senators how it hacked the iPhone

FBI is telling anti-encryption senators how it hacked the iPhone


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The FBI’s not cluing Apple in on how it allegedly hacked the iPhone 5c at the heart of the San Bernardino investigation, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happy to spill the secret to select members of Congress.

According to new reports, the feds have began briefing certain anti-encryption U.S. senators about the way in which it managed to access data on the handset belonging to shooter Syed Farook.

One senator briefed is California’s Dianne Feinstein, one of the backers of an anti-encryption bill, who has referred to strong encryption as the, “Achilles’ heel of the Internet.”

“I don’t be­lieve the gov­ern­ment has any ob­lig­a­tion to Apple,” Fein­stein told the National Journal. “No com­pany or in­di­vidu­al is above the law, and I’m dis­mayed that any­one would re­fuse to help the gov­ern­ment in a ma­jor ter­ror­ism in­vest­ig­a­tion.”

Another who has been offered the briefing is North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-sponsor of an encryption bill with Feinstein, although he has yet to meet with the FBI.

This week, a senior FBI official said that it is still “simply too early” for the FBI to know whether its efforts to hack the San Bernardino iPhone have yielded any useful results.

While the FBI may be keeping its cards close to its chest regarding how it hacked the iPhone, however, it may not be able to do so for long. If it wants to continue with a case asking a New York court to force Apple to unlock a different iPhone handset (since the FBI’s solution only works for the iPhone 5c), it may be legally forced to disclose its methods.




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