Apple says no to unlocking shooter’s phone; AG and Trump lash back

No surprise here: Apple has yet again said no to the FBI’s request to break iOS encryption – this time, as it investigates the 6 December mass shooting at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.

No surprise redux: Attorney General William Barr is using Apple’s “No” as a “perfect” illustration of why “the public needs to be able to get access to digital evidence”. In other words, this is why we need a backdoor, the FBI says.

We have asked Apple for its help in unlocking the shooter’s phones. So far, Apple has not given any substantive assistance. This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that the public be able to get access to digital evidence once it’s received a court order based on probable cause.

In a press conference on Monday, Barr confirmed that the FBI’s investigation has uncovered multiple anti-American screeds posted by the killer, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a member of the Saudi Royal Air Force who was taking flight classes in Florida. He murdered three young US Navy students and wounded eight others before being shot to death by authorities.

Barr said that the evidence points to the shooter being motivated by Jihadist ideology, as can be seen in messages Alshamrani posted to social media. One message stated that “the countdown has begun.” He posted messages up to two hours before the attack, and the FBI is keen to know who else he might have been communicating with.

from Naked Security – Sophos