Apple said it will not sue the FBI for paying another firm for tools it used to hack into an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino hackers. It’s been a weird legal battle between the FBI and Apple, to say the least.
It all started with the FBI trying to strong-arm Apple to provide keys to a back-door into iPhones. Turns out, though, those keys don’t even exist. So the FBI went looking elsewhere, found a firm that knew of a bug into older iPhones, and hacked its way in. We still don’t even know if that effort will yield any fruit, though.
And, even weirder, we also just learned that Apple used to bend over backwards to help the U.S. government into phones owned by accused criminals, unlocking as many as 70 phones since 2008. Apple’s change of heart seems to have occurred following Edward Snowden’s revelation that the U.S. government was working with major tech firms to spy on U.S. citizens. Now it’s all about protecting privacy, no matter who owns the phone.
So why not sue the FBI for breaking into its products? Apple says that technique won’t work on its newer phones. This probably isn’t the last we’ll hear on the topic, though. ZDNet said the U.S. government on Friday noted that it “continues to require Apple’s assistance in accessing the data” on the phone it already hacked into. Someone call tech support.