This is not the first time law enforcement has requested access to a manufacturer’s device, remember the India government requesting, and being granted, the Blackberry encryption master key to be able to spy on all devices for terrorism reason?
Well, the FBI is now asking Apple to introduce a master key unlock that will let the FBI decrypt a specific device, the San Bernardo terrorist in this case, and also add a computer controlled unlock method that can try passcodes in sequence and very fast.
Seems legit, no?
Yes and no. This particular request is very specific but the way the encryption works does not allow a single device backdoor. All iOS devices are encrypted with strong encryption and in order to abide the FBI request Apple would need to introduce a master key that can unlock any and all iOS devices. Imagine this tool getting in the hands of hackers?
If Apple adds a computer accessible passcode entering mechanism, you can be sure that in one week a tutorial will pop up with a Raspberry Pi and any DIY person will be able to make an iPhone unlocker device.
For these reasons Tim Cook has released an open letter to spark public interest on these very issues. Even the former head of NSA disagrees with the FBI and NSA stance on adding backdoors to devices.
Let’s hope this triggers discussion with the fear mongering that is usually shout by the McCain’s of this country. The repercussions would be worldwide and affect all of the iOS devices being updated to the flawed OS version.