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NSA Could Hack the iPhone without Apple; and FBI Stance Will Backfire to make Even Tighter Security


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The latest drama surrounding the FBI vs Apple case regarding the San Bernardino iPhone is heating up with two different developments. The first news comes from Richard Clarke, who was the National Security Council’s chief counter-terrorism advisor to three presidents, including George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Clarke has made the claim that the National Security Agency (NSA) could hack into the San Bernardino iPhone if the FBI would ask them to.

Clarke asserts that the only reason the FBI is pursuing this case is to set a legal precedent which would give them broader authority to require hacking information during investigations in the future. Here's a quote from Clarke with more of the details, "What the FBI and the Justice Department are trying to do is to make code writers at Apple – to make them write code that they do not want to write that will make their systems less secure."

Clarke also shared that a large list of intelligence officials agree with Apple on the issue. This includes the secretary of defense, "the National Security Agency director and three past National Security Agency directors, a former CIA director, [and] a former Homeland Security secretary."

Furthermore, Clarke added that every expert he knows “believes that NSA could crack this phone.” He claims that he “would have simply told the FBI to call Fort Meade, the headquarters of the National Security Agency, and NSA would have solved this problem for them.”

Clarke's final claim is that the FBI and DOJ have no interest in actually solving the problem. He believes their main goal is to set a "legal precedent,” so the government can “compel a computer device manufacturer to allow the government in.”

The second part of this news has been floating around the web for a while now, since the brouhaha began. Apple has indicated that they will now get to work on a version of iOS that is even more secure than the last one. Their intention is to create an "unhackable" iPhone.

That's not all though. Several major tech companies which have supported Apple's position will be working on greater security for their products and services as well. This includes companies like Google, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and several other companies, who have all made it clear that they are now working on making their apps more secure, and this action is a direct result of the FBI’s actions against Apple.

Basically, by taking this draconian approach to the situation, the FBI and the Department of Justice have created their own worst nightmare in which they have alienated most of the world's major tech companies. These companies are now doubling down on technology security which will make the FBI's job even harder in the future.

Source: NPR


Active Member
This makes sense. If they get a legal precedence, it doesn't matter how much more secure tech companies get. They have to comply. Plus, after having worked for several of the agencies involved above, YES, I fully believe the NSA could pop it right open, that being said, there are interagency rivalries at play which deals with funding, turf, etc.

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