When the FBI asked a court to force Apple to help crack the encrypted iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook in February, Bureau director James Comey assured the public that his agency’s intrusive demand was about one terrorist’s phone, not repeated access to iPhone owners’ secrets. But now eight months have passed, and the FBI has in its hands another locked iPhone that once belonged to another dead terrorist. Which means they may have laid the groundwork for another legal showdown with Apple.
At a press conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota today, FBI special agent Rich Thorton said that the FBI has obtained the iPhone of Dahir Adan, who stabbed 10 people in a Minnesota mall before a police officer shot and killed him. (The fundamentalist militant organization ISIS claimed credit for the attack via social media.) As in Farook’s case, the attacker’s phone is locked with a passcode. And Thorton said the FBI is still trying to figure out how to gain access to the phone’s contents.
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