The FBI has apparently hacked into the iPhone possessed by one of the San Bernardino terror suspects. Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone has been the subject of heated debate between law enforcement officials, Apple and defenders of civil rights. Farook was killed, along with his wife and alleged accomplice, after they were stopped by police for suspicion of involvement with the mass shooting in which 14 people were killed.The FBI had demanded that Apple “hack” into Farook’s phone in order to gather details about the shooting and possible connections to other terrorist acts. Citing privacy concerns for their customers and the slippery slope such hacking might create, Apple refused and faced the wrath of the FBI. However, the lawsuit has been dropped against Apple since the bureau has found a way to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.
This case may have troubling implications for the protection of privacy. It may also create public mistrust of Apple’s ability—and other tech companies’ ability—to protect that privacy. If the FBI can get into the phone of an alleged terrorist, is it possible the FBI may be able to hack into other phones? If the FBI can do it, who else might be able to do the same?