Apple is taking advantage of its battle with the FBI to gain some free marketing. The company has made it clear that it’s doing everything it can to protect consumer privacy, which is good news for all of us, but bad news for authorities trying to bust criminals using iOS to hide their tracks. Turns out, though, that Apple actually used to help the feds.
Maybe it’s not so weird the FBI asked for help, after all.
The Wall Street Journal said that, way back in 2008, Apple helped authorities investigate a child sex abuse case. A federal judge ordered the firm to do so, but The Wall Street Journal said that “the technology giant not only complied; it helped prosecutors draft the court ordering requiring it to do so.”
In other words, Apple wanted to get involved in the case. Perhaps rightfully so, too, since it involved children, but that’s not how the law works; you can’t really pick the cases you want to help with and ignore others.
The Wall Street Journal said Apple continued to help authorities after that first case and has helped investigators gain access to “more than 70 phones” since then. The news outlet suggests that Apple’s comfort assisting the government may have started to grow sour following Snowden’s government surveillance leaks. Those documents, in awfully simple terms, suggested that not only was the government spying on users, but that large technology firms were helping them do so.
Apple needs its customers to trust that it’ll protect their data, otherwise those customers are probably going to shop elsewhere. And perhaps that’s why, now, we see it fighting to keep the government out, instead of fighting to let them in. In the latest case, which involves an iPhone from the San Bernardino shooter, for example, Apple declined to help investigators break into the iPhone. The FBI eventually purchased a third-party tool to gain access, however, but recently admitted it doesn’t even work on newer iPhones.
The Wall Street Journal has a much deeper dive into all of this, so check it out at the source link below.