Back in early 2016, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to pursue all possible solutions to unlock the iPhone 5c owned by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook before demanding Apple's help accessing the device, reports Reuters.

The information was shared today in a report issued by the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General.

applefbi
According to the report, the FBI's in-house unit that handles breaking into mobile devices did not begin looking for outside help to unlock Farook's iPhone until the night before the FBI demanded Apple's help through a court filing.

The FBI was aware that one of the vendors contacted at that point in time had "almost 90 percent completed" a technical solution that would allow the FBI access to the phone. The FBI, though, in its court filing with Apple at the time, said there were no other options for accessing the device.

A judge ended up ordering Apple to help federal investigators access the data on Farook's iPhone by creating a tool that would bypass the auto-erase function and allow investigators to submit an unlimited number of passwords to attempt to unlock the iPhone.

Apple, of course, opposed the order and refused to build such a tool, leading to a long and drawn out legal battle with the FBI that only ended when the FBI admitted it had indeed found another way to access the device.

Communication failures at the FBI were to blame, causing some officials to "misunderstand the status" of the FBI's efforts to open the device. That led to delays seeking help from the FBI and the vendor that was ultimately able to unlock the iPhone.

The report from the Department of Justice comes as some law enforcement officials are again pushing for backdoor access into electronic devices to aid in criminal investigations.

Both DOJ and FBI officials have been quietly meeting with security researchers to explore technology that would allow "extraordinary access" to encrypted devices like the iPhone without weakening a device's defenses against hacking.

Earlier this week, Apple's Craig Federighi reiterated Apple's stance that such a backdoor would be dangerous. "Weakening security makes no sense when you consider that customers rely on our products to keep their personal information safe, run their businesses or even manage vital infrastructure like power grids and transportation systems," he said.

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

mariusignorello Avatar
44 months ago
That’s because the FBI does not care about security or procedures. Just like it obtained that faulty FISA warrant by using a phony piece of evidence. They just want what they want and use legal action as a threat. Reform is absolutely needed.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VulchR Avatar
44 months ago
The FBI wanted a test case, and because the shooter was engaging as an act of terrorism, it fit the bill in that it would be hard to turn the request down. In essence, the FBI wanted to establish a precedent and actual progress in the case was secondary.

You'd think they'd have learned something from all the recent instances of hacking about the risks of a back door.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schwyz Avatar
44 months ago
Of course they didn't. Typical bureaucracy.

It hurts me to see the integrity of the FBI damaged so substantially in the last few years. I would like to consider my justice department bipartisan, trustworthy, and competent. Wishful thinking these days.

Yes, reform is absolutely needed, in more places than just the FBI.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tridley68 Avatar
44 months ago
What do you expect from the Federal Bureau of Idiots.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
supercoolmanchu Avatar
44 months ago
Of course they didn't. Typical bureaucracy.

It hurts me to see the integrity of the FBI damaged so substantially in the last few years. I would like to consider my justice department bipartisan, trustworthy, and competent. Wishful thinking these days.

Yes, reform is absolutely needed, in more places than just the FBI.
Think that through a little further...

How did the FBI ever earn the integrity you used to place in them? From depictions in TV/movies?

Name an instance when the FBI did something to warrant any kind of respect? I certainly can’t think of any recent examples.

I think the truth is the FBI has never been worthy of praise or respect. It’s an aberration that never should have existed in our country. Just dismantle it and save the taxpayers.
[doublepost=1522205601][/doublepost]
Exactly, this was about an attempt to create a test case to get backdoors installed. This wasn’t incompetence no matter what the newly anti-law enforcement right wing wants to say.
Just had to sneak in a little partisanship in there... that’s exactly how we got the FBI we have today. That political team reflex only betrays a mind poisoned by political team think.

Considering it’s both Republicans and Democrats responsible for this mess, the only honorable thing is for you both to tap out. Clearly these political teams aren’t remotely interested in enforcement of law.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0007776 Avatar
44 months ago
Just had to sneak in a little partisanship in there...
The attacks on the FBI are motivated by partisanship. It’s worth defending since while they have their flaws they are one of the few areas of our government that is still reliably non partisan.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
telegram

Bumper Telegram Update Enables Video Calls With Up to 1,000 Viewers

Saturday July 31, 2021 12:13 am PDT by
Telegram Messenger has received a major update to its video capabilities, including support for video calls with up to 1,000 viewers. Group video calls in Telegram allow up to 30 users to stream video from both their camera and their screen, and now a maximum of 1,000 people can tune into the broadcast. Telegram says it intends to continue increasing this limit "until all humans on Earth...
app store blue banner

Elon Musk: Apple's App Store Fees Are a 'De Facto Global Tax on the Internet'

Friday July 30, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to criticize Apple's App Store fees in a tweet that sides with Epic in the ongoing Epic v. Apple dispute. "Epic is right," wrote Musk, before going on to call Apple's App Store fees a "de facto global tax on the Internet." Musk earlier this week made veiled comments about App Store fees, but today's statement is a much more direct criticism....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Top Stories: Face ID on Future Macs, Elon Musk Criticizes Apple, and More

Saturday July 31, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting range of Apple news and rumors, including a blockbuster earnings report, rumors about next year's "iPhone 14" and Face ID coming to Macs, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other popular topics included Apple's crackdown on leaks, changes in the latest round of betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, and several stories...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...