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He Sued, She Sued, Now The FBI is Sued?

Published: October 23rd, 2016

I think it’s probably fair to say that the US has got to be one of the most litigious countries on the planet, but we almost have a bit of a “Poe’s Law” feeling creeping up about this one it’s that ironic lol.

 

In a strange twist in the fallout of the San Bernardino shooting case, a trio of news establishments have filed a freedom of information suit in an attempt to uncover details about the hack the FBI purchased to gain access to the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c.

 

For those not familiar with the case, the FBI attempted to sue Apple to build them a back door to iOS, allowing them to gain access to the information contained in the iPhone of one of the shooters (who were killed by police after a four-hour pursuit). Apple in no uncertain terms flipped them the bird and said no way, and things were looking like they were going to get pretty hot – until the FBI dropped the case saying it had purchased a hack from a third party vendor and gained access to the handset that way. Thank you come again.

 

The filing, made by the Associated Press, USA Today, and Vice Media, seeks to compel the FBI to reveal not only the method of the phone hack, but who the hack was purchased from.

 

"The FBI's purchase of the technology —and its subsequent verification that it had successfully obtained the data that it was seeking thanks to that technology —confirmed that a serious undisclosed security vulnerability existed in one of the most popular consumer products in the world," the filing claims. "In order to exploit that vulnerability, the FBI contracted with an unidentified third-party vendor."

 

They also claim the situation raises issues around expenditure of public funds, governmental oversight concerns, and other ethical considerations.

 

"The public is entitled to know the nature of the vendors the Government finds it necessary to deal with in cases of access to private information, " the claimants declare. "Including whether or not the FBI feels compelled to contract with groups of hackers with suspect reputations."

 

We’re getting our popcorn out for this one…

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