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Apple served with search warrant to access Texas shooter's iPhone, iCloud account

By midian182 ยท 25 replies
Nov 19, 2017
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  1. Earlier this month, a situation arose involving Texas shooter Devin Patrick Kelley’s iPhone that reflected the continued animosity between the FBI and Apple. After Texas Rangers and the feds dragged their heels and ignored Apple’s offer of help to unlock the device, the company has now been served with a search warrant.

    The day after Kelley murdered 26 people in Sutherland Springs, FBI special agent Christopher Combs said the phone belonging to the deceased shooter—later identified as an iPhone SE—had been transported to the agency’s Quantico headquarters in the hope of obtaining some important information.

    "Unfortunately, at this point in time, we are unable to get into that phone,” said Combs. “It highlights an issue that you’ve all heard about before, with the advance of the technology and the phones and the encryptions, law enforcement, whether that’s at the state, local or federal level, is increasingly not able to get into these phones.”

    The FBI reportedly didn’t contact Apple for help, and despite the company reaching out following Combs’ statement, the agency never responded to its offers of aid. This meant the FBI missed a window of opportunity that could have seen it access the handset.

    If Touch ID was enabled, there might have been a way to unlock the device, such as using Kelley’s fingerprint. But Touch ID is disabled 48 hours after it was last activated or when the phone is powered off.

    The Washington Post reported that the FBI declined Apple’s help as it was trying to determine other methods of accessing the handset, but last year’s San Bernardino iPhone saga may have played a part in its unwillingness to cooperate.

    As predicted, Texas Rangers have now served Apple with a warrant for access to Kelley’s iPhone SE and, if one exists, his iCloud account. They are also seeking access to a second device, which is described as a cheap LG phone.

    Apple is usually willing to aid law enforcement when it comes to accessing iCloud data; it even offered to “expedite our response to any legal process” in this case. But breaking into the iPhone SE could be a different matter entirely.

    It looks like Apple and the FBI have found themselves in a similar situation as they did with the San Bernardino iPhone, which saw the company refuse to create a backdoor for Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c. It appeared as if a protracted court case was brewing, but the FBI eventually gained access using a tool from an unnamed third party.

    Apple has yet to respond to the search warrant.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,372   +1,502

    Well, given that apple is now salivating to help big daddy FBI unlock phones, this wont go down anything like the San Bernardino shooting case.
  3. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    So what did FBI do in 90s when people did not use smartphones and computers like to day. Now they can't fight crime anymore in today's world. But some how FBI in past could fight crime.

    Also all this do is bad guys doing the crime these days will just not use cloud any more and may not even use the phone for some communication or delete content. They may even use own encryption and password on the home folder. As second line of encryption or not trusting Apple, Google and Android.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,320   +1,932

    The feds will settle for nothing less than total backdoor access at all times. In an era of fake news and agenda-driven persecution of Americans we need strong encryption more than ever. Apple tried to be diplomatic and probably offered full access to this guy's iCloud data, which likely would have provided everything the FBI needed, but nooooo..they have to keep on playing the Gesatapo. Now Apple will never bother to extend its aid again and the media will retconn history to say that they never even tried.
  5. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    You can thank law makers not passing laws for modern world what the FBI, CIA and NSA and cops can do and not do.

    Hank even border cops say give me your phone or laptop and turn it on and some even snoop. No warrent or any thing.

    You say no!!! You not getting into the country and could be detained.
  6. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    Also if the public breaks encryption they go to jail!!!!! But cops do not!!!!

    As by law breaking encryption is illegal.
  7. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 454   +300

    More Langley spin in this one, just like we saw with the fake San Bernardino case. Of course the Feds have access to this phone, and all other phones. Do you really think Langley wouldn't give the FBI the keys for something like this? It's ridiculous. It's just pro-Apple hype, just marketing to make you think that they can't access your expensive toy phone. Much like the Blackberry situation in India many years ago, they already have all the keys to get in - they WROTE those keys.

    Another fake shooting, another fake tech "warrant" case. It's like people thinking Facebook is a real, publicly traded company and not just Langley's fun opt-in social site. Hilarious.
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,298   +796

    My guess is the previous method to bypass the security lock has been patched (and some) in a recent iOS update, and the FBI didn't know until they tried the steps they used last time.
  9. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,101   +1,134

    You might want to get yourself a tinfoil hat to wear.... sounding a bit paranoid... you sure your computer won't explode if you look at it funny?
    Capaill and poohbear like this.
  10. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,430   +2,888

    Since they tried once and got snubbed, the Fed's are going strictly "by the book" with a duly signed and authorized warrant. Really nothing for Apple to do but comply ....
  11. amghwk

    amghwk TS Maniac Posts: 361   +203

    This is a difficult situation. For crimes like these, the authorities need to explore every nook and corner to solve a case.

    Apple is also duty bound to help. When it comes to crimes, I believe strict privacy issues must give way to solve a case.

    But Apple is not willing to give away encryption keys to protect it's rest of the good customer-citizens, and it's own security.

    Now, what is the Fed want, if it is not agreeing for Apple's in-house offer for help to unlock the phone without giving away the secrets?

    Am I missing anything else here?
  12. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 870   +393

    Are you suggesting don't use all the evidence you can?
  13. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,101   +1,134

    It's more like - use all the evidence you LEGALLY can.
  14. poohbear

    poohbear TS Maniac Posts: 215   +122

    I traded facebook stock and made quite a bit of money on it. So yes, its most certainly a publicly traded company. Calm down son.
  15. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +264

    If you ask me, this is the way it should be done. Warrants should be served but instead (in the past) they have gone around the courts and then they wonder why the citizens don't trust them.

    Granted, this doesn't at all make me happy but at least this is being done inside the legal system that should be protecting us and not by trying to go around it.
  16. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,101   +1,134

    Exactly - just like in the "old days", I have no issue with the police raiding someone's house - but only AFTER they get a search warrant!

    Same should go for electronic devices - it's OK for the authorities to be able to get in... but only after they have a warrant!
  17. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +264

    Yep. For too long the authorities have thought that they were above the law or that the law didn't apply to them. This kind of crap needs to end. No one is above the law!
    lostinlodos likes this.
  18. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 446   +297

    "Apple - we are giving you a warrant - to break the law!"
    Forcing someone to break the law? Interesting...
  19. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 693   +344

    I believe that most T&Cs we agree to allow the providing company to provide our information if requested during a criminal investigation - so no argument there. Apple can provide the data on the device or in the cloud. But they should not provide any information on how to get the data from the device/cloud. If that can't be done without physically having the device, then the FBI should give the phone to Apple to extract that data. But Facebook, as a company, has a right to protect their security or product. The data is all that is needed, the FBI don't need to be told how to hack the phone.
  20. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    So is breaking encyption legal or not? Or only if the public is doing it?

    The police can hack and not go to jail but the public cannot?

    It is legal for NSA, government and military to hack people and info on everyone is the country
  21. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    But cops today don't thing they need a warrent to hack some one phone and monitor them and the constitution is outdated when comes to computers and the modern world.

    The government say okay do it.
  22. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    I think most agree like tarorisism that people have no rights.

    But really Americans still can't compute why there are gun crimes in the US . Most be some reason why the person shot people . That how can that gun you got at Walmart cause gun violence.

    Most cops in UK don't have guns and don't know even how to handle a gun.

    Countries like Japan, India, New Zealand, Ireland, Iceland, UK and Greenland cops don't carry guns. Odd time they get gun call or gun used in crime they call out response unit. Only specaily trained cops.
  23. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +264

    Not in my book, nobody is above the law.
  24. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    An this will not change at all to the government shut down NSA, CIA, FBI and so on and say do this and you go to jail.

    Look at CIA hack code that got released and these guys are not in jail!!! Yes those guys working for the CIA that made this hack code are not in jail. And now many computers are open.

    The US government allows agencies to monitor people and hack people and no warrent.
  25. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 870   +393

    I am glad they do. You should be too.

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