FBI discloses San Bernardino iPhone hacking method to senators

While the FBI has thus far opted to keep secret the hack used to break into the iPhone at the center of its recent high-profile feud with Apple, the Bureau has reportedly already briefed at least one U.S. Senator on its methods. According to the National Journal (via CNET), the FBI has been in contact with California Senator Dianne Feinstein, revealing how it accessed data on a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Senator Feinstein is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and also happens to be a co-sponsor of an upcoming bill that, if enacted, would make it easier for the government to gain access to encrypted data. North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, who is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and also a co-sponsor of the encryption bill, is also expected to be briefed by the FBI on its iPhone hack.

It remains unclear whether the FBI will disclose its secret method to Apple. However, if the method works on iPhone models other than the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino case, disclosure seems unlikely given its potential value in future cases.

In related news, Reuters reports that the White House has made the decision not to back the encryption legislation that Senators Feinstein and Burr are working on. The bill is still in the drafting stages, but is expected to be introduced "as soon as this week," according to Reuters.

FBI vs. Apple