Apple preparing for a legal battle against Trump and DOJ reportedly over Florida shooter iPhones

Apple is not willing to decrypt its devices for anyone.

Apple is making arrangements to challenge President Trump and the Department of Justice in legal court as it denied the request to unlock two iPhones used by the Pensacola, Florida shooter, according to the New York Times.

On Monday, Attorney General William P. Barr asked Apple to help the FBI further by unlocking iPhone 7 and iPhone 5 as the investigation goes on. Apple, however, denied the request to provide backdoor or unlock both password-protected iPhones, which belong to the shooter. The Department of Justice also declared they have decided to classify the incident as an act of “jihadist ideology” terrorism.

In response to Apple’s rejection, President Trump accused Apple of not unlocking the iPhones used by shooter, and the company needs to step up to the plate. Here is the full tweet

On December 6, 2019, an alleged shooter Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi Air Force student training in the US,  opened fire in Pensacola naval base. The attack ended with three dead and eight injured. A deputy sheriff fatally shotted the 21-year-old terrorist during the attack.

Apple’s response on Florida shooting investigation

In the part of the ongoing investigation, Apple has affirmed it has responded to many requests, in detail and timely, to help the process. The Cupertino tech giant hitting back at claims of “no substantive assistance” by Barr claimed it has allowed access to a variety of information, including iCloud backups, account information, and transactional data for multiple accounts.

Apple, in a statement, said, “We responded to each request promptly, often within hours, sharing information with FBI offices in Jacksonville, Pensacola, and New York. The queries resulted in many gigabytes of information that we turned over to investigators. In every instance, we responded with all of the information that we had.”

Backdoors in iPhone

The company maintains a policy of no backdoors, which allows unauthorized access to data for exceptional cases, in its smartphone devices. So even if it wants to help the FBI, it might not be possible even for itself.

Apple said that it has made sure for a long time that there is no such thing as a backdoor for the bad guys as well as good guys. The company believes backdoors can be exploited by those who threaten the national security and data security of our customers. In the locked state, an iPhone is strongly encrypted, and a passcode or Face ID is needed to decrypt the data.

It seems like the FBI and Attorney General Barr are not fully satisfied until a request to the encrypted iPhones fulfilled. Moreover, the government portrayed it by not helping the FBI, Apple is favoring the shooter Alshamrani. It is not the first time Apple rejected a request to decrypt an iPhone. After the San Bernardino attack in 2015, Apple declined to provide a backdoor to the shooter’s iPhone. Still, the FBI unlocked the iPhone with the help of a high-tech third-party premium tool.

Featured image: Steven Senne/AP

READ: Apple is suing its former lead chip designer for founding a startup

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