Feb 16, 2016 – US Attourney orders Apple to assist in San Berandino investigation.
The Central District Court of California has ordered Apple to write and install special firmware to be installed on an iPhone5c belonging to a San Bernadino Shooter which will allow the FBI to access encrypted user data on the phone to assist with investigations.
The order (link to PDF) calls for reasonable technical assistance to be provided by Apple that will effectively create what Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling a back door (link to Apple’s public response) which has been asked for in the past and has consistently been met with a flat refusal.
The main argument for not providing this ability to bypass security is that a backdoor for one organisation will inevitably result in a backdoor for all parties which would severely damage the company and the decades of work it has put into securing the data of its customers.
Criminals will still use strong encryption tools that are readily available and the public mostly is unaware of such tools putting the responsibility of security in the hands of companies like Apple and Google.
It would not be hard to expect to see this legal case drag out for years as neither party has a history of backing down.