| Cult of Mac

US slams Huawei with racketeering charges


Huawei has been relentless in its pursuit to become the world's biggest tech company.
Photo: AndroidCentral

Apple’s biggest competition from China just got hit with the R.I.C.O.

The FBI and US Department of Justice revealed this afternoon 16 charges filed against Huawei, one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers. Prosecutors claim Huawei conspired to steal trade secrets, commit wire fraud and conspired to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

We’re still digging into the 56-page indictment, but it looks like Huawei was on a two-decade-long streak of keepin it gangsta.

US orders Apple to identify users of rifle scope app


random riflescope
Justice officials have their sights set on a lot of private data.
Photo: Captaindan/Wikimedia CC

The Department of Justice has ordered Apple and Google to turn over names, phone numbers and IP addresses for users of a gun scope app that allows gun owners to calibrate scopes and capture video.

Data privacy activists say the government’s ask would set a “dangerous precedent,” giving officials access to data on thousands of innocent people.

T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger could earn DoJ approval this week


T-Mobile CEO John Legere with the Phone BoothE.
Sprint and T-Mobile are 'all-in' on their merger.
Photo: T-Mobile

The long-awaited merger between T-Mobile and Sprint could finally be approved by the Department of Justice this week. The deal requires the agreement of the DoJ in order to proceed.

Provided that it goes through, the merger will create a company valued at $160 billion. The merged companies will also have to help establish a new fourth wireless competitor to replace the one being taken away.

Feds have questions about iPhone throttling. Apple has answers.


iphone battery
Apple will replace your battery for just $29.
Photo: iFixit

Apple says it is cooperating with U.S. government agencies investigating the company’s decision to throttle CPU speeds on iPhones with older batteries.

The official statement from Apple this morning comes a day after news broke that the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether Apple broke any securities laws.

Apple faces DoJ probe over throttled iPhones


iphone battery
$29 for a battery replacement isn't too bad.
Photo: iFixit

Investigators at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into whether or not Apple violated securities laws when it disclosed that it throttles CPU speeds on some iPhones.

Apple revealed at the beginning of the year that it intentionally lowers the speed on iPhones with older batteries to prevent unwanted crashes. Customers in numerous counties have filed lawsuits against the iPhone maker. Now it appears that the feds are getting ready to weigh in.

The feds still want Apple to help it hack an iPhone in New York


iPhone will never be 100 percent hacker-proof.
iPhone will never be 100 percent hacker-proof.
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

The FBI dropped its case against Apple to hack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, but the Department of Justice filed a new letter today demanding Apple help it unlock a different iPhone.

The iPhone in question belonged to meth deal Jun Feng in New York. Federal authorities believe the device may contain critical evidence and plan to appeal a ruling made by a magistrate judge in Brooklyn who decided the government can’t force Apple to hack its own device.

In its letter of appeal, the DoJ argues that because Apple helped prosecutors unlock at least 70 iPhones in the past, the company should do it again.

Apple says the FBI never had a case to begin with


bump transfer
Apple thinks the FBI should never have brought a case against it in the first place.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Justice Department may have dropped its suit against Apple after successfully gaining access to the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, but according to Apple the case should never have been brought to begin with.

In a statement, Apple doubles-down on its beliefs about the importance of user privacy. Check out the company’s words of wisdom below:

FBI cracks San Bernardino iPhone without Apple’s help


That iPhone in your pocket is much more well-traveled than you are.
The FBI didn't need Apple's help after all.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Department of Justice has removed all legal action against Apple after the FBI successfully hacked the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone without assistance from Cupertino.

Apple and the FBI have been fighting a very public legal battle over whether the government can force the iPhone-maker to create a backdoor into iOS. Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly defied a federal court order to deliberately weaken iOS security for millions of users, but it appears that the feds are backing down — at least for now.

DOJ surprises Apple with evidentiary hearing request


Bruce Sewell
The DoJ has thrown another curveball at Apple's lawyers.
Photo: House Judiciary Committee

The Department of Justice has pulled another surprise on Apple this week by making a last minute request to turn the company’s court appearance on March 22nd with the FBI into an evidentiary hearing.

Apple lawyers told reporters this morning that they were caught-off guard by the last minute request which should have been submitted weeks ago.

DOJ accuses Apple of deliberately making iPhone unhackable (no duh)


Apple wants to keep everyone (even the feds) out of iOS.
Apple wants to keep everyone (even the feds) out of iOS.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a new motion in court today regarding its battle against Apple to compel the iPhone-maker to unlock the iPhone 5c that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

In the new filing the feds argue that Apple has “deliberately raised technological barriers” on iOS to make it harder for the government and other attackers to hack Apple devices. They also claim that demanding Apple to unlock one iPhone won’t result in a security vulnerability for all users.