Judge orders Apple to help FBI recover data from San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

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A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Apple to help investigators access encrypted data on the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, reports NBC News. The ruling says that the Cupertino firm must provide “reasonable technical assistance” to the FBI in recovering data from the handset.

More specifically, the device is an iPhone 5c that belongs to Syed Farook, who with his wife Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, California last year. The phone is locked with a passcode, and prosecutors say data found in Farook’s iCloud account suggests it could contain evidence.

Prosecutors alleged in their filing that Farook may have disabled the iCloud data feature to hide evidence. Although investigators have been able to obtain several backup versions of Farook’s iCloud data, the most recent version they’ve been able to access dates from about a month and a half before the shooting. They said this showed Farook “may have disabled the feature to hide evidence.”

In recent years, Apple has made user privacy a top priority, and a tentpole feature for its iOS platform. In fact, last October, the company told a judge in New York that it’s impossible for it to extract data from a passcode-locked iPhone running iOS 8 or later. It has 5 days to respond to the court’s order.

Source: NBC News