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‘We Reject the Characterization That Apple Has Not Provided Substantive Assistance in the Pensacola Investigation’

Scott Lucas, reporting for BuzzFeed News:

“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.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020