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Locked....and "getting into" an iPhone

The challenges of technology in 2016.   We all hope, perhaps fondly, that our mobile devices, laptops and computers are secure from being accessed by anyone - government or otherwise.     

A situation has arisen in California where the police have sought to access an iPhone - perhaps with good cause - giving rise to a challenge to whole issue of accessibility, and by whom.      The New York Times reports in "Judge Tells Apple to Help Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s iPhone":

"A judge in California on Tuesday ordered Apple to help the F.B.I. unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the assault in San Bernardino that killed 14 people in December.

The ruling handed the F.B.I. a potentially important victory in its long-running battle with Apple and other Silicon Valley companies over the government’s ability to get access to encrypted data in investigations. Apple has maintained that requiring it to provide the “keys” to its technology would compromise the security of the information of hundreds of millions of users.

The F.B.I. says that its experts have been unable to get into the iPhone 5c used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who was killed by the police along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, after they attacked Mr. Farook’s co-workers at a holiday gathering.
 

The Justice Department had secured a search warrant for the phone, which is owned by Mr. Farook’s former employer, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. But prosecutors said they saw little choice but to seek the additional order compelling Apple’s assistance.

In an unusually detailed directive, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym of the Federal District Court for the District of Central California ordered Apple to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to the F.B.I. in unlocking the phone. That assistance should allow investigators to “bypass or erase the auto-erase function” on the phone, among other steps, she wrote."

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