What you need to know
- Apple has hit back at an FBI report suggesting that Apple has not been helpful in the Pensacola shooter investigation.
- It released a strongly worded statement stating it had responded to all of the FBI's requests for information within hours.
- However, it reiterated its stance on refusing to create a backdoor to encryption on iOS for law enforcement.
Apple has hit back at an FBI report suggesting that it was had not "given any substantive assistance" in helping the Justice Department gains access to two iPhones used by Pensacola Naval Air Station Shooter Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani.
The Justice Department published the findings of its investigation into the attack on a Pensacola Naval Air Station, in which three American service members were killed and a further eight wounded. They described the incident as "an act of terrorism" that was "motivated by jihadist ideology."
Last week it emerged that in the course of the investigation the FBI has asked Apple to help it unlock two phones belonging to the shooter, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, in a story that echoed the case of the San Bernardino shooting several years ago.
According to the initial CBS report on the FBI's findings:
In response to this claim, Apple has released a very strongly worded statement refuting the "characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation." The full statement reads:
Apple states that it has assisted the FBI with several information requests, and has turned over iCloud backups, account information and transactional data. It seems that, at least according to Apple, it was only last week, on January 6th, that Apple was made aware of a second iPhone, and that the FBI was not able to access these phones without a passcode. Apple appears to have complied with a further subpoena relating to that device.
Apple concluded in the strongest terms by stating that it continues to assert its position that it will not create a backdoor to its iOS security systems for use by law enforcement. As has previously been the case, Apple claims that doing so would irreversibly undermine the security of iOS and could be used by criminals to threaten both national security and Apple's customers.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9