A judge on Tuesday ordered Apple to assist federal authorities attempting to extract information from an iPhone in connection with the investigation into the San Bernardino mass shooting in December. Re/code reports that the iPhone belonged to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the suspected shooters.
“The ruling requires Apple to provide the FBI with technology to bypass a feature that would automatically erase the data on the phone after 10 incorrect attempts at entering a password,” Re/code reports. “That would theoretically allow the government to crack the device through brute force.”
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said: “Since the terrorist attack in San Bernardino on Dec. 2, 2015, that took the lives of 14 innocent Americans and shattered the lives of numerous families, my office and our law enforcement partners have worked tirelessly to exhaust every investigative lead in the case. We have made a solemn commitment to the victims and their families that we will leave no stone unturned as we gather as much information and evidence as possible. These victims and families deserve nothing less.”
Re/code notes that FBI Director James Comey discussed the situation earlier this month with the Senate Intelligence Committee. “He said the increasingly sophisticated encryption technology on devices is contributing to a phenomenon he refers to as ‘going dark’ — limiting the ability of law enforcement to investigate serious crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and child pornography,” Re/code notes.