All’s well that ends well. But has the colossal Apple – FBI squabble on delicate matters like device encryption, data protection and counter-terrorism efforts really ended well for both parties involved? At least one?

Not exactly, and ultimately, this long, contested battle will probably go down in the history books as a tie. On one hand, the Cupertino-based tech giant stood its ground against the US Department of Justice, and evaded any definitive laws passed in Congress forcing it to comply with court orders in cases of private information extraction from iDevices.

On the other, law enforcement got what it wanted in the San Bernardino shooting investigation, managing to decrypt an iPhone 5c owned by attacker Syed Farook with the help of a third-party forensic software firm.

Sounds like a win – win situation? Think again, as the FBI may lack the time and resources invested in this hack down the line, while Tim Cook can’t just ignore the fact some sort of iOS vulnerability was exploited here. Or can he?

Mum’s the word on whether Apple’s engineers even know how the FBI broke into this particular handheld, or if the system flaw can be taken advantage of on other devices running the same operating system.

For now, Cupertino merely cares to stress it “remains committed to participating” in a “national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy.” Also, its latest press statement seems to indirectly interpret the FBI’s independent iPhone hack as a personal victory, since the initial demand that “Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone” never materialized.

Fair point, but a number of questions remain unanswered, and folks worried of potential large-scale government privacy intrusions are likely not happy.

Source: The Verge

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