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F.B.I Requests Apple’s Assistance In Unlocking Shooters’ iPhones

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  • The FBI has requested for Apple’s assistance in unlocking two iPhones linked to a shooting at a Pensacola naval base in December 2019.


According to NBC News, in a letter sent to Apple on Monday, FBI general counsel Dana Boente said the bureau has obtained court approval to search the device. However, it was unable to unlock the device using available tools, despite best efforts.


“Investigators are actively engaging in efforts to ‘guess’ the relevant passcodes but so far have been unsuccessful,” Boente told the news agency.


F.B.I requests Apples assistance in unlocking iPhones
iPhones can only be unlocked with the devices’ passcode


Apple, on its part, cannot produce local data from locked phones without breaching the fundamental elements of iOS security.


The company although from time to time provides iCloud data in response to court orders. This often includes backups of the phone’s local hard drive but without the password for a specific device. The company can’t provide local data stored on the phone.

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Apple says it has handed all available data to law enforcement

Apple declined to confirm the existence of the letter to the Verge. However, it said it had handed over all available data related to the case in response to a court order.


“We have the greatest respect for law enforcement and have always worked cooperatively to help in their investigations,” an Apple representative said.


The representative further added:


“When the FBI requested information from us relating to this case a month ago we gave them all of the data in our possession and we will continue to support them with the data we have available.”


Apple started building encryption into iPhones in 2014 that can be unlocked only with the device’s password. Meaning even Apple cannot bypass security on the phones that ensure total security for its user.


Law enforcement authorities have also been frustrated by this technology, saying Apple has given criminals a safe haven.


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