Last week, it became known that Apple and the FBI again had a reason for conflict. The fact is that in December 2019, shooting occurred on the basis of the U.S. Navy (in Florida, in the city of Pensacola). The fire was opened by 21-year-old Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani, a Saudi air force officer who trained in the United States. He shot three people and was killed himself.
The FBI is currently investigating the incident and is extremely interested in unlocking the two iPhones owned by al-Shamrani. Although the FBI has court permission to crack the iPhone and access data, both devices are password protected and encrypted. So far, attempts to break them into nothing have led to, although this case is considered a high priority national security issue, and the FBI has already resorted to the help of unnamed third-party experts and suppliers.
Apple said that they are already cooperating with the investigation and generally always seek to help law enforcement agencies. However, these statements by the company did not prove that Apple agreed to help crack the devices.
Now the situation commented US Attorney General, at a press conference urging Apple to help the FBI with hacking. He said that what happened in Pensacola was a terrorist act, and Apple still has not provided the investigators with any “substantial assistance” and, as previously assumed, has not helped to access the data on the shooter's smartphones.
“This situation perfectly illustrates why it is crucial that investigators can access digital evidence after receiving a court order. We urge Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks, ”says Barr.
In response to this, Apple issued an official statement that showed that the company has not changed its position regarding backdoors over the years. Moreover, Apple representatives emphasized that they provided investigators with gigabytes of data, including backups from iCloud al-Shamrani.
“We reject allegations that Apple did not provide substantial assistance in the investigation of what happened at Pensocol. Our responses to numerous inquiries (consequences) after the attack were timely, thorough, and continue to be received.
Within a few hours, after the first FBI request, on December 6, 2019, we presented a wide range of information related to the investigation. From December 7-14, we received six additional legal requests and in response provided information, including iCloud backups, account information and transactions for several accounts.
We responded to each request immediately, often within a few hours, exchanging information with the FBI offices in Jacksonville, Pensacola and New York. At the request of the investigation, many gigabytes of information were received, which we transmitted to the investigators. In each case, we provided all the information that we had, ”- declare in company.
Separately, Apple reminded the world of its position regarding backdoors in software left specifically for law enforcement:
“We have always argued that there is no such thing as a backdoor for good guys.” Backdoors can also be used by those who threaten our national security and the security of our customers' data.
Today, law enforcement agencies have access to more data than ever in history, so Americans do not have to choose between loosening encryption and disclosing cases. We believe that encryption is crucial to protect our country and the data of our users. ”
Soon after, US President Donald Trump joined this “dialogue”. About what is happening he spoke out on his twitter:
“We constantly help Apple with TRADE and many other issues, but they still refuse to unlock the phones used by killers, drug dealers and other criminal elements. They will have to meet and help our great country IMMEDIATELY! ”
A similar situation already arose in 2016, when law enforcement officers needed to obtain information from the iPhone 5c, which belonged to the terrorist who staged the massacre in San Bernardino. Desperate to crack the device on its own, the FBI enlisted the support of a federal judge and turned directly to Apple for this. The company reacted extremely negatively to this request, saying that the FBI, in fact, requires creating a special version of iOS with a built-in backdoor – a “master key from hundreds of millions of doors”. And although the scandal managed to gain considerable momentum, in the end the confrontation came to naught, as the phone was successfully hacked without the help of Apple (and it cost the FBI more than a million dollars).