When the FBI began demanding that Apple create a way for government to hack into Syed Farook’s iPhone, something smelled fishy. Surely the massive, multibillion-dollar surveillance state can get into a cell phone, so why would they start this very public fight?
Apple had become vocal about protecting the privacy of its customers since the Snowden revelations clearly showed government’s all-out attack on constitutional rights. The FBI tried its hand at steering public opinion—preying on the fear of terrorism—so people would accept government-mandated backdoors to bypass encryption.
But their propaganda campaign appears to be failing miserably. This was highlighted on Monday when the government said that investigators had now “accessed the data stored on” the shooter’s iPhone and no longer needed Apple’s help, according to the Washington Post.
The Justice Department then conceded their loss and asked a court to vacate an earlier ruling forcing Apple to provide assistance.
The Court Order states:
Applicant United States of America, by and through its counsel of record, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, hereby files this status report called for by the Court’s order issued on March 21, 2016. (CR 199.)
The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016.
Had the government successfully forced Apple into unlocking the phone or creating a backdoor to their encryption, experts in the technology field warned that this could be the end of privacy as we know it.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd made it clear earlier this month, that he is ready to go to war with Apple citing the murder investigation of 31-year-old Robert Banks. Banks was allegedly beaten to death and photos snapped of his dead body with an iPhone by four suspects who are currently in the Polk County Jail.
“Let me tell you, the first time we do have trouble getting into a cell phone, we’re going to seek a court order from Apple and when they deny us I’m going to go lock the CEO of Apple up,” Judd said in a press conference. Well, Sheriff Judd, you look pretty silly now.
What this case illustrates is the private sector’s ability to stand up to tyrannical government demands. When the government’s corruption is thrust into the limelight, it becomes harder for them to operate in their unscrupulous dark corners. Sunlight is truly the best disinfectant.