FBI pushed to reveal source of iPhone hack

Associated Press, Vice Media and Gannett want US government to disclose how much it paid for the tech

The Associated Press, Vice Media and Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, are prssuring the FBI to disclose how much it paid developers for the hacking technology used to break into the locked iPhone of the San Bernardino gunman.

The three news organisations explained they are not looking to find out information that could jeopardise the investigation, or put national security at risk, but they think it's the public's right to know how much public money was spent on the case and how it managed to unlock the iPhone owned by killer Syed Rizwan Farook.

Its rumoured the FBI paid at least $1.3m (1.05m) to hack into the phone according to the BBC. This information was suggested by FBI director James Comey, who once said the organisation had paid more than he would earn in seven years for the tool.

"While it is undisputed that the vendor developed the iPhone access tool, the government has identified no rational reason why knowing the vendor's identity is linked in any way to the substance of the tool, much less how such knowledge would reveal any information about the tool's application," lawyers representing the Associated Press, Vice Media and Gannett said.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Release of this information goes to the very heart of the Freedom of Information Act's purpose, allowing the public to assess government activity - here, the decision to pay public funds to an outside entity in possession of a tool that can compromise the digital security of millions of Americans."

A court told the FBI it had the go-ahead to hack into Farook's phone a year ago, after Apple refused to help authorities access the data on the device.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now


Business strategy

Apple launches new TV, gaming and finance services

25 Mar 2019

Apple MacBook Pro 16in review: A little bigger, a lot better

10 Jan 2020

Best smartphone 2019: Apple, Samsung and OnePlus duke it out

24 Dec 2019

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2019: All the year’s best hardware

24 Dec 2019

Most Popular

data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020