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Because of Encryption FBI Can't Unlock San Bernardino Terrorists' Phones

February 11, 2016  | 

Months after the tragic shooting at a health clinic in San Bernardino, FBI agents are still unable to unlock the phone used by one of the attackers, according to new statements by FBI director James Comey.

Speaking before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey mentioned the case as a prime example of device encryption hindering an investigation. "In San Bernardino, a very important investigation for us, we still have one of those killer’s phones that we have not been able to open," Comey told the Committee. "It’s been over two months now. We’re still working on it." Comey's testimony was public and can be viewed here, beginning at roughly 1:04:00.

Notably, Comey did not specify the manufacturer of the phone in question, although he has been vocally critical of Apple's device encryption system in the past, Yahoo reports. Comey also acknowledged that, while the San Bernardino case is urgent for many reasons, the vast majority of encryption cases involve more banal crimes. "It affects our national security work," Comey said, "but overwhelmingly this is a problem that local law enforcement sees."

 


Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Robert @ 2/11/2016 12:25 PM

What is the word I am looking for...oh yeah, its B_lls__t!!
Of cou
rse he is not actually lying...he said, that 2 months after the shooting the FBI has been unable to unlock the phone. What he is not saying is whether they are working 24/7 for 2 months, with dedicated supercomputer time.

There is not an encryption key made today, and used on a daily basis by a person, that could not be brute force broken in 2 months. IF these guys were using a 200 digit prime number & 100 ASCII characters....it cannot be broken by brute force in 2 months.....But I doubt the phone would allow that many characters for the user key.
Now, if the FBI has 1 small team...with 1 small server trying to decode the password....they will be there for 20 years!
Turn the phone over to the NSA, and give them about 48 hours of supercomputer time....and the phone will be open.

This guy will never stop trying to get everyone's encryption keys...it is his white whale.

Leonard @ 2/12/2016 7:30 PM

Absolutely they can unlock the phone. This is a political statement pure and simple. The FBI has historically fought against our right to protect ourselves against unlawful scrutiny. Despite their cries, the encryption cat is out of the bag. People can obtain encryption from several sources, domestic and foreign.

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