When the news broke a few days ago that the government thought it had a way to get into the San Bernardino shooter’s phone without Apple’s help, someone on the radio made the point that this development meant both sides were losers:
- The government had to admit it was wrong that they could only get into the phone with Apple’s help.
- Apple, which based its refusal to provide this service to the country on the claim that it was just so important that its security remain intact, and that even Apple itself coming up with a way in would compromise the truly awesome security of its phones to an unacceptable extent, would be exposed as having lame security if a third party could indeed break in.
The Justice Department is abandoning its bid to force Apple to help it unlock the iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack because investigators have found a way in without the tech giant’s assistance, prosecutors wrote in a court filing Monday.
The government said that investigators had now “accessed the data stored on” the shooter’s iPhone and no longer needed Apple’s help. They asked a court to vacate an earlier ruling forcing Apple to provide assistance….
It’s good that law enforcement can now see whether there’s any intel of value on the phone. It’s bad that we didn’t establish the precedent that Apple has to cooperate with law enforcement. But I console myself on that point with the fact that Tim Cook now has egg on his face because his vaunted security has been shown to… I believe the technical term is “suck.”