In the latest development in the case of the FBI wanting Apple to create a backdoor into the iPhone of the San Bernardino killer, the Department of Justice has asked the courts to vacate the upcoming hearing because the FBI might be able to use an alternative method to get into the locked iPhone of the San Bernardino killer.
According to documents submitted by the DOJ, “On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether the available method will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Order in this case.”
The DOJ will be submitting a progress report to the court by April 5. If the alternative method does not work, then it will be back to the usual proceedings.
Though, the individual or the group that has come forward to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino killer is not a part of the government, the government sources yet have not named the party.
It still needs to be verified whether the proposed method will be safe and won’t end up destroying the data on the iPhone.
Apple’s reaction is quite cautionary. They would like to believe that it’s practically impossible to hack into one of their devices so they are not going to easily accept that an alternative solution is available. Just the fact that the FBI is neither naming the party that is interested in helping the FBI nor is it revealing how the alternative method is going to work or whether it is going to work or not, casts suspicion over the entire state of affairs, according to Apple.
Should we feel good that there is a possible solution available to the FBI and now the bureau might be able to hack into the phone of the San Bernardino killer? This is a complicated question and it definitely needs some sort of extended thinking. Phones are private, but so are our homes. If we commit a crime, after obtaining a warrant, the police can raid our homes. With the court’s permission, anybody’s house can be raided and normally people don’t have objections. At the surface level, the same should be applicable to the mobile devices.