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US FBI seeks Apple's help unlocking phones of suspected naval station gunman

07:00  07 january  2020
07:00  07 january  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

FBI asks Apple to help unlock iPhones of suspected Navy base shooter, report says

  FBI asks Apple to help unlock iPhones of suspected Navy base shooter, report says The iPhone maker has battled previously with the FBI over unlocking devices.CEO Tim Cook has championed strong encryption and Apple's efforts to protect customer data.

Apple ’ s attorneys, in a conference call with reporters, said they do not consider the development a legal victory and warned they could be back in the same “The FBI has been viewing security as an impedance rather than a necessity. That the bureau may not need Apple ’ s help to access the phone

The FBI – Apple encryption dispute concerns whether and to what extent courts in the United States can compel manufacturers to assist in unlocking cell phones whose data are cryptographically protected. There is much debate over public access to strong encryption.

The FBI is asking Apple Inc. to help unlock two iPhones that investigators think were owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man believed to have carried out the shooting attack that killed three people last month at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

a sign on the side of a road: Image: Shooting On Naval Air Station Pensacola Leaves Multiple Dead And Injured© Josh Brasted Image: Shooting On Naval Air Station Pensacola Leaves Multiple Dead And Injured

In a letter sent late Monday to Apple's general counsel, the FBI said that although it has court permission to search the contents of the phones, both are password-protected. "Investigators are actively engaging in efforts to 'guess' the relevant passcodes but so far have been unsuccessful," it said.

FBI asks Apple to help unlock iPhones of suspected naval station shooter

  FBI asks Apple to help unlock iPhones of suspected naval station shooter The FBI is once again asking Apple to help it access iPhones for the sake of an investigation. The bureau has sent a letter to Apple's general counsel requesting the company's help in unlocking the two iPhones of Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man believed responsible for killing three people at Naval Air Station Pensacola. FBI officials have requested help from other agencies and countries as well as "familiar contacts in the third-party vendor community," but are hoping Apple will make their lives easier. One of those contacts might be CelleBrite, which reportedly helped the FBI crack San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone 5c.

House holds moment of silence for victims of Texas church shootingApple reached out to the FBI to offer advice on how togain entry intothe iPhone of the

Timothy D. Cook, Apple ’ s chief, defended the company’s battle with the government at an event last week.Credit Andrew Burton for The New York Times. A senior federal law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said it was possible that law enforcement might not find anything

The letter, from FBI General Counsel Dana Boente, said officials have sought help from other federal agencies, as well as from experts in foreign countries and "familiar contacts in the third-party vendor community." That may be a reference to the undisclosed vendor that helped the FBI open the locked phone of Syed Farook, the gunman who attacked a city meeting in San Bernardino, California, in 2015. The Justice Department took Apple to court after the company refused to help the FBI open that phone.

A spokesman for Apple on Monday pointed to a letter the company sent to its customers during the legal battle over the San Bernardino phone. It said complying with the FBI's demand would require producing a new version of the iPhone operating system. If that software fell into the wrong hands, it "would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession."

FBI asks Apple to help unlock a mass shooter’s iPhone

  FBI asks Apple to help unlock a mass shooter’s iPhone The FBI recently asked Apple for help unlocking a pair of iPhones that belonged to Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man accused of killing three people during a mass shooting at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida last month. The FBI was granted permission to search the contents of the seized iPhones, but they've been unable to get past the lock screen. Consequently, the FBI sent a letter to Apple's general counsel asking for the company to provide some assistance. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Apple is opposing a judge' s order to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters. Gunman ' s sister: He was shy and quiet. FBI investigating shootings as an 'act of terrorism'. Judge tells Apple : unlock shooter' s iPhone. Timeline for San Bernardino mass shooting.

Apple has offered to help the FBI unlock the smartphone of the gunman who killed 26 people at a church in Texas last Sunday. If Kelley had saved his phone data on Apple ' s iCloud service, this too may hold information about numbers called, messages sent and pictures it was used to take.

A law enforcement official said there's an additional problem with one of the iPhones thought to belong to Alshamrani, who was killed by a deputy during the attack: He apparently fired a round into the phone, further complicating efforts to unlock it.

Another official said Alshamrani, a member of the Saudi air force who was taking flight training, apparently acted alone but cautioned that the investigation is not complete.

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Attorney General William Barr said last month in an interview with NBC News that the Pensacola shooting "appeared to be" an act of terrorism, but officials have not yet formally offered any conclusion. "Even though the shooter is dead," the FBI letter said, agents want to search the phone "out of an abundance of caution."

According to the letter, the iPhones were sent to the FBI's crime lab in Quantico, Virginia. "We stand ready from a logistical standpoint to do whatever is needed of us to work with Apple in effectuating the court's order," it said.

Mnuchin urges Apple, other tech companies to work with law enforcement .
Mnuchin urges Apple, other tech companies to work with law enforcementOn Tuesday, President Donald Trump lashed out at Apple in a tweet for refusing to unlock phones in criminal investigations while the company benefited from the federal government's help on trade issues.

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