Late last month, the saga of the FBI and its locked iPhone 5c reached what seemed like an uneventful end, as the government backed down from its demands that Apple help break its own product in an effort to discover what, if any useful information might be stored on a handset once owned by terrorists. After Apple’s big legal showdown fizzled out, where are we left? In the time since the feds told Apple they wouldn’t be needing its help after all, we’ve continued to follow this story and its possible repercussions. This week we get a couple new updates, including word about our chances of ever finding out if this whole fight was worth it, and exactly how the FBI managed to ultimately get access to the phone’s data.
We know the FBI got some help cracking its way into the iPhone in question, but were there any secret terrorist to-do list inside, or trace of a “dormant cyber pathogen?”
Well, for now that’s a big, fat “maybe.” All the FBI is saying at the moment is that it’s still analyzing that data, and that it will follow any leads that may or may not generate. Only after it sees where this all goes (or doesn’t go anywhere) would the agency even consider publicly revealing what it actually found. Basically, don’t hold your breath.
That is, unless you’re a US senator: reports reveal that at least California’s Diane Feinstein has been briefed on the FBI’s efforts, including being told just how the agency managed to get into the iPhone in the first place. Additional senators are likely to be briefed as well, but it seems clear from all the secrecy involved that this information is being shared sparingly.