Fight for the Future


FBI backs down after public outcry, opens San Bernardino iPhone without Apple’s help after repeatedly claiming that was impossible

Posted 19:29 EDT on March 28, 2016

“The FBI’s credibility just hit a new low,” says Fight for the Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2016
|Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

The FBI says it has unlocked the iPhone in the San Bernardino case without Apple’s help. This breaking news should not come as a surprise; the consensus among credible technical experts has always been that there were multiple ways the FBI could attempt to bypass the phone’s security, and that the government’s goal in its legal fight with Apple was not to access the data on the phone but rather to set a precedent to compel private companies to build backdoors into their products.

“The FBI’s credibility just hit a new low,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “They repeatedly lied to the court and the public in pursuit of a dangerous precedent that would have made all of us less safe. Fortunately, Internet users mobilized quickly and powerfully to educate the public about the dangers of backdoors, and together we forced the government to back down.”

“This will go down in history as one of the FBI’s biggest public relations failures,” added Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, “It couldn’t be clearer that they read the tea leaves, saw they were going to lose both in the court of law and the court of public opinion, and gave up, for now at least.”

Fight for the Future, a digital rights group known for organizing some of the largest online protests in history, was behind the #SaveSecurity campaign that set up a battery powered flat-screen TV outside last week’s cancelled Apple vs FBI hearing to display more than 20,000 comments collected at SaveSecurity.org, a campaign site that was supported on social media by major web firms including reddit, Wikimedia, and Google. The same group was behind nearly 50 rapid response protests outside Apple stores and FBI headquarters last month.

The DOJ publicly claimed at least 19 times that there was no other viable method to open Sayed Farook’s iPhone other than with Apple’s help. This was a core tenet of their case using the All Writs Act.

Long before this latest announcement, multiple expert security researchers have cast serious doubt on the DOJ’s claim that only Apple could help unlock the phone. See this, this, and this.

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