“We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided
substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation. Our
responses to their many requests since the attack have been
timely, thorough and are ongoing,” the company said in a
statement. “We responded to each request promptly, often within
hours, sharing information with FBI offices in Jacksonville,
Pensacola and New York. The queries resulted in many gigabytes of
information that we turned over to investigators. In every
instance, we responded with all of the information that we had.”
But Apple said nothing about actually unlocking the gunman’s two
iPhones. Instead, it reiterated its stance on privacy.
“We have always maintained there is no such thing as a
backdoor just for the good guys,” the company explained.
“Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our
national security and the data security of our customers. …
We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country
and our users’ data.”
The big question remains unclear in all this coverage: did Apple refuse the DOJ’s request, or are they unable — technically — to fulfill the request? The DOJ continues to talk as though this is something Apple could do but refuses to. I believe it’s something Apple is mathematically unable to do. News coverage should make this clear.