Apple vs FBI: 2 years old encryption dispute all heated up again

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A two years old on-and-off dispute between FBI and Apple, related to the strict security policy of Apple, is heating back up after the Texas police found an iPhone SE at the scene of Church Shooting incident that happened earlier this month.

Out of concerns for the protection of data privacy of all of its users, Apple once again refused to let FBI hack into the discovered iPhone.

But the tussle again has put the issue on table; whether it is acceptable to let government access locked phones during criminal investigation or not, as According to Apple, break-in gateway to any iPhone could risk the overall data security system set by the company.

The issue goes back to the start of the year 2016 when Apple was dragged into the court for a similar case; An iPhone 5C was found at the crime scene of the horrifying terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California in Dec 2015, to which FBI asked for help from Apple to create a software that could allow authorities to access data of a locked iPhone. But Apple strictly declined the request, leading FBI to file a lawsuit against the company.

An iPhone turns encrypted when it hasn’t been unlocked by Touch ID within 48 hours; once crossed the time limit, it asks for Passcode instead.

Even though it can be accessed by using break-in software but chances are that it can corrupt the phone, as iOS is designed in a way that it removes all the phone’s data if reached through illegal means.

Government and FBI couldn’t take the risk of losing the meaningful data, so they turned towards Apple for help developing a solid back door to figure out an encrypted phone.

However, Apple repeatedly argued that the back door key required to unlock an encrypted iPhone is better left uncreated, for the sake of keeping the security system of iPhones safe for all users. Apple fears that such a key, once made, can be used by hackers or third parties to exploit data privacy of all iPhones.

Image: Carlsontoons.com

But a fact can’t be denied that the data from the terrorist’s phone can also help great in reaching the roots of the crime, which is why FBI and government didn’t stop and hired a strong third party IT firm to access the encrypted phone without damaging the data it carries.

This time, Apple has directly received a search warrant from Texas authorities to access the encrypted iPhone found at the scene and again the iPhone company is stuck in the legal battle with government over its strict security policy.

Let’s see who wins this time!

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