What you need to know
- Apple has responded to the Justice Department's press conference about the Pensacola attack.
- Attorney General William Barr said the FBI unlocked phones with "no thanks to Apple".
- The company says those are "false claims" and that it has provided all possible info to the FBI.
Apple has responded to claims from the Justice Department that it did not do enough to assist law enforcement in its investigation of the Pensacola terrorist attack. Reported by AppleInsider, Attorney General William Barr revealed in a press conference today that the FBI was able to unlock two phones with "no thanks to Apple".
"During a Department of Justice press conference on Monday, Attorney General William Barr said that the FBI was able to unlock two phones connected to the shooting with "no thanks to Apple." Barr continued the volley, reiterating the Justice Department's stance that national security "cannot remain in the hands of big corporations who put dollars over lawful access and public safety."
Shortly after the press conference, Apple released a statement to AppleInsider, denying the claims of Barr. The company says that it did respond to the FBI's request for information "just hours after the attack", and provided all the data that it had, including "iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts."
The company believes that Barr's remarks are just one more of continued attempts by the government to pressure them to create a "backdoor" to its software. Apple stresses that such a backdoor would "make every device vulnerable to bad actors who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers."
You can read the entire statement from Apple below:
The terrorist attack on members of the US armed services at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida was a devastating and heinous act. Apple responded to the FBI's first requests for information just hours after the attack on December 6, 2019 and continued to support law enforcement during their investigation. We provided every piece of information available to us, including iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts, and we lent continuous and ongoing technical and investigative support to FBI offices in Jacksonville, Pensacola and New York over the months since.
On this and many thousands of other cases, we continue to work around-the-clock with the FBI and other investigators who keep Americans safe and bring criminals to justice. As a proud American company, we consider supporting law enforcement's important work our responsibility. The false claims made about our company are an excuse to weaken encryption and other security measures that protect millions of users and our national security.
It is because we take our responsibility to national security so seriously that we do not believe in the creation of a backdoor — one which will make every device vulnerable to bad actors who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. There is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys, and the American people do not have to choose between weakening encryption and effective investigations.
Customers count on Apple to keep their information secure and one of the ways in which we do so is by using strong encryption across our devices and servers. We sell the same iPhone everywhere, we don't store customers' passcodes and we don't have the capacity to unlock passcode-protected devices. In data centers, we deploy strong hardware and software security protections to keep information safe and to ensure there are no backdoors into our systems. All of these practices apply equally to our operations in every country in the world.