The FBI acknowledged Tuesday that the agency lost the ability to obtain data from a San Bernardino mass killing suspect’s iPhone when someone ordered that its cloud password be reset shortly after the December rampage.
“There was a mistake made in the 24 hours after the attack,” FBI Director James Comey told members of a House judiciary committee.
Testifying about the encryption battle with Apple, Comey called the company a “vicious guard dog” that is hurting national security, arguing that the agency’s job to keep Americans safe was hindered by Apple’s refusal to unlock the iPhone.
“If there are warrant-proof spaces in American life, what does it mean? What are the costs?” he said. However,
he also conceded that forcing Apple to unlock the phone would be “potentially precedential.”
Apple’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, told the panel that “encryption is a good thing,” despite the problem it caused for law enforcement. “This is not about the San Bernardino case,” he said, “This is about the safety and security of every iPhone that is in use today.” Read more.