Technology

Feb 18, 2016

Can the FBI hack your iPhone?

The US government pinkie swears it is only going to use a backdoor to Apple products this one time. But Apple's having none of it.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor

Journalist

Apple has been ordered by a US federal court to make it easier for the FBI to hack its phones, and the tech giant isn’t happy about it. What does this mean in the ongoing government war against encryption?

What does the FBI want from Apple?

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12 comments

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12 thoughts on “Can the FBI hack your iPhone?

  1. WakeUpAustralia

    What?

    Like they don’t have a backdoor already?

    Or is that only applicable to the NSA?

  2. mikeb

    I’ll probably get howled down for my opinion but so be it. I don’t really care if the FBI or ASIO or similar can hack my phone. It would only bore them. Provided that they can’t alter information held there then they are most welcome to have a look-see. I assume the people at Apple or whatever are clever enough to leave a backdoor open on the ios to allow entry for read only?

  3. Keto Vodda

    “Provided that they can’t alter information held there then they are most welcome to have a look-see.”

    No doubt there are no hackers in the FBI so you should be safe – until some criminal also obtains access.

  4. Keto Vodda

    Apple will be somewhat concerned.

    Why would anyone buy a phone with a backdoor?

    Buy phones from any other country.

  5. hhcrikey

    WakeUpAustralia: see CALEA, stingray and friends – interception of the traffic in and out of the device has been a done deal for a couple of decades. Present battle is over access to contents of the device itself.

    mikeb : if a bad actor (your classic “black hat”) knows that the back door exists, they can find and use it too.
    About a week after that, every techie kid on your street.
    Read only or not, there are many things on my phone I would not want easily accessible even if I, like you, don’t really care about “the feds”.

  6. zut alors

    Whether to be on the side of an international behemoth (Apple) or a US government agency (FBI)?

    A choice between two undesirables but I’ll opt for Apple in this instance.

  7. Wayne Cusick

    mikeb, don’t you have personal information on your phone?

    I certainly have, and I’ve only been using a smart phone for 8 or 9 months.

  8. mikeb

    Have I personal stuff? Yeah – photos, contacts, emails, texts & the like. Nothing of interest to anyone but myself. Re hacking – as long as they can’t change anything (that’s a proviso) then it’s not going to worry me. I’m not a celebrity with nude photos which will embarrass. No bank account passwords or anything like that there either. To some people this will be a concern – just not me.

  9. Raaraa

    Don’t forget that the US already have precedent with the Nixon Administration in the “Watergate” scandal. The abuse of power by an executive using the FBI to obtain information about his opponents.

    It was an abuse of power, and Nixon had to resign because of this, but the people are aware that FBI compelling Apple to put in this backdoor could easily be abused by an interested agent.

  10. Maja

    How could they update the operating system of the phone if they don’t have the passcode for it already?

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