Apple no longer has to worry about a court case. Instead, they have to worry about how the FBI and friends managed to crack their Operating System. The DoJ has dropped its case against Apple, saying that the FBI has accessed the iPhone 5C. Earlier in the week a court date was postponed. This latest development is rumoured to involve an Israeli company called Cellebrite.
Journalists: please remember that government argued for months that this was impossible, despite expert consensus. pic.twitter.com/7QdkjRKpXg
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 28 March 2016
Precedents will still be set. Apple plans to compel the DoJ to release the details of the hack. So this will all be back in court soon. Now the case will do a Flippity Flop. A Flippity Flop is legal speak and just means the defendants will become the plaintiffs. Don’t worry if all this legal mumbo-jumbo is lost on you the real meat and potatoes is this. The government has a secret method that allows them to break into your iPhone at will. I wonder if the DoJ will be as quick to order the FBI to reveal how the hack works as it was to order Apple to break the encryption in the first place. Somehow I doubt it.
There are echoes of the NSA’s knowledge of Heartbleed. The agency reportedly knew about the catastrophic bug for at least two years and was able to exploit it that whole time. How they deign to use such a visible hack will be attracting a lot of attention from civil liberties groups. With a history of nefarious hacking, many in the US government will be itching to keep a tight hold of the leak.
As other messaging services like Facebook’s Whatsapp roll out end-to-end encryption and throw away the keys more freelance work could soon be available for the Hacking Team and Cellebrites of the world.