New York district attorney calls for federal law to unlock seized iPhones

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Law enforcement officials still want Apple to hack the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants the Trump administration to help create federal legislation requiring Apple and Google to remove default encryption from their smartphones.

The recommendation comes from the DA office’s second report on Smartphone Encryption and Public Safety, presented by Vance at the opening of the Manhattan DA’s new cyberlab. New York County is currently sitting on 423 iPhones it can’t break into, even with a warrant, so the DA’s office is pushing for change.

FBI found no new information on San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

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After all that effort, the San Bernardino iPhone turns out not to be what the FBI was hoping for.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The FBI has had three weeks to examine the unlocked iPhone belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, and U.S. law enforcement officials are finally ready to say whether they were able to find anything of use on the handset.

The answer? Not much. Although that’s not the way they’re presenting it.

Feds can’t tell Apple how they cracked San Bernardino iPhone

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The FBI may not legally own the process used to crack the iPhone 5c under investigation.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

We’ve heard plenty of bluster about how the FBI won’t tell Apple how it cracked the iPhone 5c at the heart of the San Bernardino shooting case, but there’s another possibility, too: that the Feds can’t tell Apple how it did it.

Why? Because according to a new report, citing Obama administration sources, it may not actually have legal ownership of the method in question.

Cellebrite probably wasn’t the brains behind FBI’s iPhone hack

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Israeli tech firm may not have been the ones who hacked San Bernardino iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The FBI signed a $15,000 contract with Israeli-tech firm Cellebrite to crack the iPhone 5c at the heart of the San Bernardino shooting investigation. However, according to a new report, Cellebrite may not have been the ones who successfully hacked the smartphone, after all.

Instead, the Feds reportedly broke into the iPhone 5c with the aid of a group of professional hackers who discovered and brought to the bureau a previously unknown iOS flaw — letting them get around the iPhone’s four-digit pincode feature, without accidentally erasing the iPhone’s data in the process.

FBI: It’s ‘too early’ to tell if gunman’s iPhone contains useful evidence

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iPhone hack
Was hacking the San Bernardino iPhone worth it?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The FBI’s campaign against Apple has been called its biggest PR disaster in history, but were its efforts to hack the San Bernardino iPhone worth it? In the FBI’s own words, it’s still too soon to tell.

According to a senior FBI official, the organization won’t reveal what — if anything — it’s learned until it’s finished examining all the data on the handset.

Attorney general defends iPhone hacking on Stephen Colbert’s show

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Loretta Lynch argues her case to Stephen Colbert.
Photo: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

With a growing number of people siding with Apple in its privacy standoff with the U.S. government, United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch attempted some damage control last night by appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to defend the FBI’s position.

Check out her appearance below.

San Bernardino’s top cop admits terrorist’s iPhone may be a dead end

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Getting into the San Bernardino iPhone may be pointless.
Photo: Apple

Apple and the FBI are locked in a bitter legal battle over San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c that was recovered at the terrorist event, but according to San Bernardino’s chief of police we’re all overlooking one very important issue: there might not be any useable intelligence on it.