My my how the tables have turned!
After a month long and heated court battle with Apple, the FBI was able to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook, with the assistance of an unnamed outside party. Apple was able to maintain its stance on opposing assistance to the FBI when asked to circumvent its own security technology to hack into the attacker’s iPhone in early March. The FBI requested that Apple rewrite its operating system with leaner security in order to make it accessible. The Apple vs FBI court case was cancelled after the FBI stated it no longer required Apple’s help after a third party reached out to the government agency offering their assistance with unlocking the phone. While it is still unofficial, news reports suggest that the FBI sought assistance from an Israeli forensics company named Cellebrite.
Naturally, Apple is curious to know how its OS was compromised since it exposes a security flaw (just imagine how much that is worth). This controversy continues but the question posed moving forward is different: should the government be obligated to disclose the security flaw in Apple’s OS so that it can be patched? While I have no official opinion on this, I am thinking about a few things. Now that the public knows the iPhone can be compromised, how does that affect the idea of our privacy? What will it be like in the future when government agencies and technology giants like Facebook, Google and, Apple must come to an agreement if a certain standard has been set from the climate of this case? And lastly, I ask (with great sadness), is privacy completely dead?