The backdoor into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone is apparently just the tip of the ethical iceberg. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FBI and Justice Department is trying to force Apple to pull data off “about a dozen” iPhones from across the country.
READ MORE // Apple Fighting Judge Order to Create an iOS Backdoor
Sourcing people familiar with the matter, federal authorities are trying to extract data from other, unrelated iPhones using the same method as the so-called ‘BackDoor OS’ in the San Bernardino case. In each case, federal authorities have cited the All Writs Act to legally force apple to bypass the iPhone’s passcode in get at the data.
While details were harder to come by, the WSJ has specifically said these cases “don’t involve terrorism charges”.
These facts, if accurate, hurt the official position that the San Bernardino unlocking is a one-off instance. In a legal filing, federal prosecutors argued that the order to force Apple to unlock an iPhone is a solitary instance.
“tailored for and limited to this particular phone. And the order will facilitate only the FBI’s efforts to search the phone… Nor is compliance with the order a threat to other users of Apple products.”
Tim Cook later wrote in a letter that such a position was “simply not true” going on to say:
“once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices… The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements.”