U.S. Attorney General Says iPhone Unlock Request Won't Lead to Widespread Privacy Breaches

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With the court date for the iPhone unlocking case between Apple and the FBI just over a week away, United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided to speak on the issue during an episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night (via TechCrunch). After Colbert asked about her likely stance on the topic, Lynch said that she has "had a number of great conversations with Tim Cook on issues of privacy," and remarked on the sensitivity of the issue.

"Well, you know, we've disagreed publicly in court and I've had a number of great conversations with Tim Cook on issues of privacy. What I'll say about this, though, is I understand why this is important to everybody, because privacy is an important issue for everyone. It's important to me, as the Attorney General, it's important to me as a citizen."

As it has been heavily reported since mid-February, the case revolves around the FBI's request for Apple to unlock the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken a stance against the court order, which Colbert brought up to Lynch in last night's interview. The host noted Cook's belief that creating such a backdoor into the iPhone could lead to a "slippery slope" into privacy concerns for all Apple device users.


Lynch's defense lies in Cook's alleged misrepresentation of what the FBI wants the company to do in regards to Farook's iPhone. In the interview, she claims that they are "not asking for a backdoor," and that the court order filed requesting Apple's compliance is "very narrow," suggesting Cook's fear of an anti-privacy precedent is unwarranted.

"Well you know, first of all, we're not asking for a backdoor, and nor are we asking for him to turn anything on to spy on anyone. We're asking them to do what their customer wants. The real owner of the phone is the county, the employer of one of the terrorists who's now dead. What we're asking them to do is to help us disable the password erase function that basically wipes the phone if you guess the password wrong after ten times. We will try to get into the phone, we will extract the evidence under the court order that we have gotten that's very narrow, it's very focused."

Lynch's comments support a recent document released by the prosecutors representing the United States government in the case against Apple, in which they refer to the original filing for Apple's participation a "modest" request that would never lead to a "master key" that could unlock all iPhones against the will of their owners. Nevertheless, Apple will appear in court to fight the order on March 22, following the recently confirmed March 21 date of its "Let Us Loop You In" media event.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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60 months ago
Sorry, Ms. Attorney General, but the NSA's actions and the Patriot Act are enough for me to call "Shenanigans" and not have any trust or faith in the argument you're trying to make.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
This is a woman who recently said there have been discussions in the DOJ about bringing legal action against people who exercise their First Amendment Right in regards to the question of climate change.
She's the last person I would believe.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
Aww, she thinks she knows tech.

Plot twist: she doesn't.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
Is this the same AG who feels the private server with classified information on it, marked or not, is just fine? This is the most politically motivated AG in my lifetime. I trust nothing that comes out of her mouth and soon an election will fix that bad noise.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
What a freaking liar.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
It is not Apple's fault that the county did not take more steps to keep their property from being placed in a state that they cannot recover, or for not doing bi-weekly iCloud backup checks to ensure that each device was being backed up per common sense policy.

Not Apples monkeys. Not Apples circus. Go away FBI.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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