QR.bizNewsTrump rebukes Apple for not unlocking shooting suspect iPhones

Trump rebukes Apple for not unlocking shooting suspect iPhones

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Monday that the shooting by a Saudi pilot at a Navy base in Pensacola, southeastern state Florida, in December was "an act of terrorism".

Apple did not specify whether it unlocked the shooter's iPhones, but reiterated its stance on privacy.

During the exchange of fire, Alshamrani disengaged long enough to place one of the phones on the floor and shoot a single round into the device, Barr said. The second phone was also damaged but fixed. Instead, it would have to build a "backdoor" to access the information without the owner's password and that "backdoors" can easily be exploited. Thus far, Apple has not agreed.

The AG called on Apple and other technology companies to "help us find a solution so we can better protect the lives of the American people and prevent future attacks".

The brewing dispute highlights the debate surrounding digital privacy and the government, specifically when Silicon Valley companies like Apple are required to cooperate with law enforcement officials on criminal investigations and matters of national security.

Once again, the obligation of tech companies to hand data over when authorities demand it is in the spotlight. In the press conference, the Attorney General directed his message towards Apple and other technology based firms to provide complete assistance and cooperation once probable cause for illegal activities is ruled by the courts. The company said it had provided information on iCloud backups, account information, and transactional data for multiple accounts as part of the requests.

Apple has stated it can not access data that's encrypted with a passcode and stored on an iPhone and that it must construct a specific software for doing so, known in the tech trade as a "backdoor".

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on Trump's tweet. Apple claims that giving the government access to its users' private data doesn't solve the bigger issue.

This time, it's unclear if the government will be able to break into the iPhones.

"Strong encryption enables religious minorities facing genocide, like the Uyghurs in China, and journalists investigating powerful drug cartels in Mexico, to communicate safely with each other, knowledgeable sources, and the outside world", ACLU Surveillance and Cybersecurity Counsel Jennifer Granick said in a statement.

A screen displaying the iPhone 11 is seen inside an Apple Store in Mexico City

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