Menu
FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack

FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack

In March, the U.S. government unlocked access to the iPhone through an unknown third party

The FBI’s refusal to reveal how it accessed an iPhone 5c from a San Bernardino mass shooter will face scrutiny in court. USA Today’s parent company and two other news groups have filed a lawsuit against the agency, demanding it turn over the details.

In March, the FBI unlocked the passcode-protected iPhone through an unknown third party, for a reportedly large sum that the agency hasn’t officially disclosed.

The lack of details prompted USA Today to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI, regarding the costs paid to the third-party contractor. But in June, the FBI denied the request, claiming that the disclosure could interfere with law enforcement.

The agency denied similar FOIA requests from the Associated Press and Vice Media. However, on Friday, the three news organizations filed a lawsuit, arguing the FBI had “no lawful basis” to reject the FOIA requests.

The news companies claim the public is entitled to know how much was spent to unlock the iPhone, and who the third-party contractor is.

The FBI had previously demanded that Apple assist the agency with cracking the iPhone’s security, setting off a legal scuffle. But the agency later paid an outside third-party to gain access, likely by using an undisclosed vulnerability in the device.

Friday’s lawsuit claims that the FBI effectively sanctioned a party to retain potentially dangerous technology. “Further, the public is entitled to know the nature of the vendors the government finds it necessary to deal with,” the lawsuit added.

The FBI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The agency’s director James Comey has previously suggested that the FBI paid more than US$1 million for the iPhone hacking tool.

The FBI plans to use the tool to help in other investigations, although it only works on iPhone 5c devices running iOS 9, according to Comey.

News of the lawsuit comes a day after a security researcher revealed a way to hack an iPhone 5c with store-purchased equipment costing less than $100.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ApplesecurityiPhonegovernmentfbihacking

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments