The FBI has successfully hacked the iPhone connected to the San Bernardino massacre, the US Department of Justice has dropped its case against Apple, so all should be well in the world. Not so: Apple would like the last word.
In a statement released last night, Apple reminds us all that while this case might be over, it was in the right all along:
From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.
We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.
Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.
This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.
Overall, it’s difficult to judge whether the case has been a win for Apple. Sure, it didn’t have to decrypt the phone, but it’s also sparked a concerted effort from lawmakers to pass new legislation, which could mandate Apple to unlock devices in the future.