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FBI–Apple Encryption Dispute: Analytical Essay

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Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, Pakistani origin, they are married and reside in Redlands City in California. Farook worked as a food inspector for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health in 2010 to 2015 , After earning a bachelor’s degree in in environmental health in 2010.

On the morning of the December 2,2015, Farook and Malik left their home and their six-month-old daughter with Farook’s mother, telling her that they were going to a doctor’s appointment, But they head to the Inland Regional Center to attend a meeting for employees of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. Two hours after they arrived the place was one minute to ten, Farook and Malik They begin to implement their plan, which was planned a year ago according to investigations, they opened fire on those in attendance for four minutes they killed 14 people and injured 22 others but they fled, After a few miles of police chase, They were defeated after several minutes after clashing with police.

On February 9, 2016, the FBI announced that it was recovered from Farook’s home his other phone which he had destroyed before the attack, The phone was an iPhone 5C in version ios8. Moreover, restoring a mobile phone outlet for a terrorist is an important thing in the progress of the investigation. Unfortunately, the FBI announced that it was unable to crack the phone because of the phone’s advanced security features. The phone was programmed to automatically delete all its data after ten wrong guesses password, since the password contain four digits contains thousands of possibilities and combinations, taking into account the wrong attempts and extend the delay period by a few minutes in each wrong guessing in password. In this case, FBI needs more than a year to decode the passcode and without take up the problem of limited ten attempts. With the same type of encryption that the United States and other countries use to protect their devices data from enemies. It important to point out that the data on that iPhone was stored on a memory chip that’s fixed to the iphone’s motherboard so that the FBI can’t extract the memory from the iPhone this lead to made the way to access the device quite closed.

After the number of plans failed to open the device and in order of skipping the password. The FBI wanted Apple Inc. to create a backdoor software “key” as special version of iOS to disable certain security features like disables automatically bypasses and disables the automatic scanning function after 10 unsuccessful password attempts whether activated by the user or not and to overcome the dilemma of delay that occurs when entering wrong password, in all IOS upcoming releases.

Apple declined the request.

Of course it is possible for Apple to establish a software as required by the government but Apple said that order was ‘unreasonably burdensome”, because it will take tens of engineers and staff to devote themselves to this task and will require a minimum of two years to establish that software. They will leave their inspired work from Apple to work for the government mission. The FBI says the government will compensate Apple for their time according to FBI in its latest filing. But the company commented that this is not the main reason for the rejection and the reason is to protect the security of users and customers with the company and negotiate the most important product produced by the company is the iPhone also Apple no longer has the ability to extract data because the files to be extracted are protected by an encryption key associated with the user passcode, which Apple does not own. Apple fears that such a key, once made, can be used by hackers or third parties to exploit data privacy of all iPhones because of bad parties can use that key after obtaining it in one way or another and modify it programmatically to make that switch suitable for all devices iPhone not only with Farook’s phone, and therefore the threat is great and serious.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in one of the press meetings “Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them,” it continued. “But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone. The implications of the government’s demands are chilling”.

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Where Apple provided to the FBI backup copies of the Farook’s phone by iCloud backup methods, contains the latest information about the Farook’s phone that was uploaded to the iCloud recently via internet but unfortunately, Apple has not been able to provide enough data as the data retrieved from the iCloud was limited to a certain extent, which is about two months before the dilemma occurred, when Farook stopped backing up the phone. The FBI believes Farouk may have deliberately stopped automatic backups to hide something.

Then the decision to raise a court between them by law All Writs from the FBI to insist Apple on its position towards the case not to issue the required software that the FBI believes that it helps him a lot in the course of the case and decryption, which impedes the progress of the investigation

The All Writs Act is a United States federal statute, which was signed into law by President George Washington in 1789, which authorizes the United States federal courts to issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law. The FBI used it against Apple, applying its terms based on three conditions, the first conduction is Necessary or appropriate in aid of jurisdiction, Since the opening of the device related to Farouk can change many in the direction of the investigation and detect other ways that were hidden if revealed by his locked phone, it is not possible for the FBI to turn a blind eye to the phone of a murderer criminal 14 people so must open it in order to know the information inside. In the end, this is essential for the course of the investigation. Secondly, the absence of a third party to help penetrate Farouk’s phone without Apple’s intervention because in the case of a third party cannot use the all writs law to force Apple to program a backdoor software that helps the FBI in penetrating Farouk’s phone, in case the condition is not met, Apple will respond to the government to go to the third party to help them in this dilemma thus makes Apple in safe side with its customers and with its principles of user security. Thirdly, Usages and principles of law the statute requires courts to issue writs agreeable to the usages and principles of law.

The Justice Department also said the constitution and the All Writs Law must be trusted, especially on Apple to get balance between the security of user information and the right to national security.’ The government is trying to rewrite history by portraying the law as a very powerful tool. However, the battle is about security and privacy, about the US government’s attempt to force a public company, using a 227-year-old law, to bargain over its most important products. Apple said in its latest filing. ‘This Court should reject that request, because the All Writs Act does not authorize such relief, and the Constitution forbids it.’. On the other hand, there are concerns, whether the FBI can force Apple to build new technology in the future based in that law!

Four months after the massacre, On March 21, 2016, the government requested and was approved, saying that a third party called Cellebrite, an Israeli company, showed a possible way to bypass the iPhone lock in question. Days later to confirm the method, on March 28, 2016, the FBI reported that it had unlocked the iPhone with the help of a third party to use the extracted information to investigate the case. A government official said that penetration applications were limited, the method can only fit the iPhone 5C like the one used by Farouk, as well as older iPhone models that lack the Touch ID sensor. It is important to mention that the tool was purchased from a third party at a cost of more than one million dollars and that they did not buy the rights of technical and software details about how the tool works, we can be likened to the purchase of a magic black box does not know what is inside but it can decrypt some versions of iPhone.

After week ago, Tel Aviv newspaper Yediot Ahronot, said Cellebrite was the outside party. Cellebrite has declined to comment but just after the FBI announced success shares of the Cellebrite, which jumped 9.8% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange!

Finally, In March 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported that ‘the FBI finally found that the Farook’s phone had only information about the work and revealed nothing about the scheme, which is an expected result because it is the work phone of the company where Farouk worked, especially He destroyed his own phone and his wife before the massacre began.

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FBI–Apple Encryption Dispute: Analytical Essay. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from
“FBI–Apple Encryption Dispute: Analytical Essay.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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