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DOJ knew of possible iPhone-cracking method before Apple case

Grant Gross | March 24, 2016
The DEA filed a warrant request to use an iPhone cracking technology weeks before the FBI went to court against Apple

The iPhone contents "will then be copied to a readable computer disc" and reviewed by the court, the warrant application says. 

Farook's iPhone was a 5C model, while the Maryland suspect's device was a 6 series phone. 

Critics of the FBI's case against Apple are now questioning whether the agency should have moved forward with its case without disclosing the possibility of using Cellebrite to hack Farook's phone.

The FBI and DOJ now appear to be backing down in the Apple case because of public opinion and a possibility they won't get the court precedent they seek, said Evan Greer, campaign director for digital rights group Fight for the Future.

"The FBI’s last minute excuse is about as believable as an undergrad who comes down with the flu the night before their paper is due," Greer said via email. "They should come clean immediately."

 

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