The List Of 12 Other Cases Where The DOJ Has Demanded Apple Help It Hack Into iPhones

from the no-precedent? dept

In our last post we noted that while FBI Director James Comey insists that it wasn't trying to set a precedent, and this move was just about getting access to a single phone, law enforcement around the country was eagerly lining up behind the FBI to make similar requests. And... then last night it came out that even the DOJ is making similar requests in 12 other cases. And now, the full list of such cases has come out:
Now, it's actually not entirely clear from this that all the cases really are the same. All of them do involve the DOJ using the All Writs Act to demand extra assistance from Apple -- and we already knew about some of those earlier cases. And in most of them, the specifics of the "ask" is not actually public yet.

That is, it's not known if they're all asking for the same level of forcing Apple to build a new operating system that reduces security and enables the FBI to hack through a weak passcode. It's safe to assume that's probably the case in at least some of them.

Still, given all of this, the details of all of these cases were kept sealed until now. And, it's been reported that Apple had asked for the San Bernardino case to be sealed as well, but the DOJ was the one who moved to make it public. And that lends tremendous weight to the idea that not only is the FBI desperately seeking to set a precedent, but it was waiting for a case with "good PR optics" to go public with, so that it could pull on some heart strings to get the public on its side. The high profile "terror" case in which a bunch of people were murdered in cold blood apparently was the perfect case.

But, yeah, once again, Director Comey was flat out lying when he claimed the FBI has no interest in setting a precedent.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2016 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re:

    There's a #3 for this list. They are demanding that Apple do it at their own cost. Not much difference in this and demanding that a contractor supply the military free of charge. Be that food, weapons, or supplies.

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