The standoff did not produce the legal precedent the government hoped for, but it did result in a successful iPhone hack.
To quickly recap, the FBI got a court order to compel Apple to weaken the security of San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook’s iPhone so that the agency could access the data on the device. Apple refused to help, setting off a six-week war of court filings and media statements.
In most federal investigations involving iPhones, the court order requesting assistance from the tech company is kept under seal, McAndrew points out. The lawyers talk behind closed doors. The engineers and forensics people work together in secret. The public never knows about it.
So why did the DOJ and FBI decide to take this case public, very public?
I think our “benevolent” government knew a precedent would be established where no government agency would be able to compel a company to make a backdoor into any electronic device. A verdict like this would be devastating since there are active back doors to most everything we use. The next step is that companies will just no longer build the back doors in the event access is demanded…