When news first broke about Apple declining to create a back door in iOS that would allow far easier brute force passcodes, it was spun as Apple being unwilling to help the government fight terrorism and otherwise being against everything eagles and pie. The deeper narrative, though, has been one of Apple standing up for the privacy rights of not just Americans but everyone, everywhere. As the story develops, the first spin is showing increasing signs of strain.
Court filings seemed to lay blame on the San Bernardino Health Department, stating:
San Benadino, however, took to Twitter to say it wasn't exactly so:
The County was working cooperatively with the FBI when it reset the iCloud password at the FBI's request.The County was working cooperatively with the FBI when it reset the iCloud password at the FBI's request.— CountyWire (@CountyWire) February 20, 2016February 20, 2016
FBI Press Relations tried to clear things up:
What does this mean? iPhone forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarsk:
To further expand on why this level of government intrusion affects more than just one case and one country, The New York Times dove into how China might well be next.
Emotional arguments, especially those that try to cloak themselves in patriotism, seldom lose out to rational and even legal ones. Except when those emotional arguments are so manufactured that the seams begin to show... and to crack.
It's unclear exactly what's going on with this one iPhone 5c that belonged to terrorists and murderers — why was the password reset?; what information do they want that's not available using that password; and why are factions of law enforcement focused not on getting the data but getting a tool to get data?
Hopefully more will become clear soon. In the meantime, if you're concerned about your rights to privacy, you can sign the petition to the White House asking that efforts that compel Apple and other device makers to create a "backdoor" for the Government to access citizens data be halted, or join one of the rallies planned for Tuesday.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.