Apple is battling against a court order to unlock the shooter’s iPhone 5c for the FBI, but the U.S. Department of Justice wants Apple to help federal investigators extract data from twelve other encrypted iPhones that may contain crime-related evidence, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The twelve cases are similar to the San Bernardino case in that prosecutors have sought to use the 18th-century All Writs Act to force Apple to comply, but none are related to terrorism charges and most involve older versions of iOS software.
“The specifics of the roughly dozen cases haven’t been disclosed publicly, but they don’t involve terrorism charges, these people said.”
This information adds weight to Apple’s concerns — and those of many others — that the San Bernardino case will be the first of many to come. If Apple helps the FBI unlock this iPhone, what’s to prevent law enforcement agencies from expecting the same when other cases arise?
it is certainly possible to create an entirely new operating system to undermine our security features as the government wants. But it’s something we believe is too dangerous to do. The only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is to never create it.
In the past, Apple has extracted data from iPhones under lawful court orders, but the company stopped storing encryption keys for devices running iOS 8 or later. As a result of this stronger protection, Apple cannot assist the FBI without circumventing iOS security and putting the privacy and safety of its customers at risk.
Prosecutors say Apple complied with these orders for years, until late 2015, when the company stepped up its stance on privacy and protecting user data, and began insisting that it should not be forced to comply with such government requests.
The Apple-FBI dispute has fueled a public debate over the past week. Google, Facebook, Twitter and some campaigners have publicly backed Apple, while U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and some San Bernardino victims have sided with the FBI.
Apple has until Friday, February 26 to file its first legal arguments in a California court.
U.S. Department of Justice Wants Apple to Unlock 12 Other iPhones