Government demands access to locked iPhone for a totally insane new reason

by Jacob Kleinman | March 4, 2016

iphone virus

The FBI is still laying the pressure on Apple to help unlock an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters, claiming that it could hold important and incriminating information. Now the government is using what seems like a pretty ridiculous argument to gain access to the device.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos submitted a new filing this week claiming the iPhone in question could be connected to some sort of futuristic computer virus.

“The seized iPhone may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino’s infrastructure,” the document reads.

The bizarre argument, which was spotted by Ars Technica, doesn’t add up for several reasons. First, it’s unclear exactly what the DA means by “cyber pathogen,” though we assume it’s just a scary way of describing a computer virus. Second, the iPhone would need to be jailbroken to be used in this way, and if that was the case the FBI would likely already have it unlocked.

Of course, this is still a complicated issue. The American public appears to be split on whether Apple should cooperate with the FBI, while most tech giants are siding with the Cupertino company. But this one particular argument doesn’t seem to hold up.

ArsTechnica Engadget


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...