FBI owes it to victims to try to hack San Bernardino gunman's phone: director

WASHINGTON - The FBI owes it to the victims of the San Bernardino terror attack to do what it can to gain access to the locked cellphone used by one of the gunmen, FBI Director James Comey said Sunday night.

See Full Article

In a statement posted on the Lawfare blog, Comey sought to defend the FBI demand for access to the phone as well as counter arguments from Apple Inc. that its court fight with the company risks threatening the digital privacy of Apple customers all over the world.

"We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist's passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That's it," Comey wrote in a four-paragraph statement. "We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land."

The iPhone used by Syed Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in the December 2 rampage, may or may not hold clues to finding more terrorists, Comey wrote.

"But," he added "we can't look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don't follow this lead."

The statement continues the verbal back-and-forth between Apple and the Justice Department that surfaced last Tuesday, when a magistrate judge in California directed Apple to help the FBI hack into the password-protected phone. The judge's order directs Apple to create specialized software that could be loaded onto the phone to bypass a self-destruct feature that erases all data after 10 consecutive, unsuccessful attempts to guess the unlocking passcode. That way, the FBI could use technology to rapidly and repeatedly test numbers in what's known as a brute force attack.

Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, has strongly objected to the government's request, and the company is expected to file its opposition in court this week.

Comey did acknowledge in his statement that the clash has laid bare a tension between privacy and security. But he said that divide should not be resolved by the FBI nor "corporations that sell stuff for a living."

"It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Airbag maker Takata expected to file for bankruptcy Monday

    World News CBC News
    Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States early Monday. Takata was done in by defective airbag inflators that can explode with too much force, spewing out shrapnel. Source
  • Ottawa festival partners with police to provide 'amnesty drug bin'

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa’s Escapade Festival has partnered with the Ottawa Police Service to provide an amnesty drug bin for festival-goers this weekend to get the summer festival season off to a safe start. Two banners above the entrance to the festival advise attendees to “dispose of illegal drugs in amnesty bin on the left,” referring to a small covered tent set up by Ottawa police to allow people to anonymously drop off unwanted illegal drugs before entering the venue. Source
  • Canada's Lance Stroll makes history at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian driver Lance Stroll finished third and became the youngest rookie to race to a podium finish on the F1 circuit. The 18-year-old accomplished this piece of history at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday. Source
  • Prince Harry once 'wanted out' of royal family

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — Prince Harry says he once “wanted out” of the royal family. In an interview published in the Mail on Sunday, the prince said the time he spent in the army was “the best escape I’ve ever had” and that he once considered giving up his title. Source
  • 10 bodies found, scores still missing after massive China landslide [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MAO COUNTY, China — Rescuers recovered 10 bodies and were still searching for 93 other people on Sunday, a day after a massive landslide buried a picturesque mountain village in southwestern China. More than 2,500 rescuers with detection devices and dogs were looking for signs of life amid the rubble of huge boulders that rained down on Xinmo village in Sichuan province early Saturday. Source
  • Istanbul LGBT Pride parade organizers defiant in face of ban

    World News CBC News
    Activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights said they will march for LGBT pride in Istanbul on Sunday, despite a ban by the governor. Organizers of the 2017 Istanbul LGBTI Pride called for the gathering to begin at 5 p.m. Source
  • Istanbul's Pride march to go ahead despite governor's ban

    World News CTV News
    ISTANBUL -- Activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights said they will march for LGBT pride in Istanbul on Sunday, despite a ban by the governor. Organizers of the 2017 Istanbul LGBTI Pride called for the gathering to begin at 5 p.m. Source
  • Testing for combustible panels urged for all U.K. apartment towers

    World News CBC News
    Britain's government urged local officials across the country Sunday to urgently submit samples of tower block cladding after tests found that all samples tested so far have failed fire safety standards.Why Grenfell Tower became a raging, wind tunnel of a fireIn London, officials tried Sunday to complete the evacuation of hundreds of apartments in four towers deemed unsafe, but faced resistance as several families refused to budge. Source
  • 'I could hear people screaming'; Oil tanker explodes in Pakistan, killing 153 who tried to gather leaking fuel [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BAHAWALPUR, Pakistan — An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing 153 people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel, a hospital official said as the death toll continued to rise. Source
  • UK: All building cladding samples tested failed fire safety

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's government urged local officials across the country Sunday to urgently submit samples of tower block cladding after tests found that all samples tested so far have failed fire safety standards. In London, officials tried Sunday to complete the evacuation of hundreds of apartments in four towers deemed unsafe, but faced resistance as several families refused to budge. Source