Government hints it may demand iOS source code, signing key…
The government yesterday hinted that it may demand that Apple hand over the iOS source code and the encryption key the Cupertino, Calif. company uses to sign updates if it won’t comply with a court order to help authorities unlock an iPhone. “For the reasons discussed above, the FBI cannot itself modify the software on Farook’s iPhone without access to the source code and Apple’s private electronic signature,” the footnote read. “The government did not seek to compel Apple to turn those over because it believed such a request would be less palatable to Apple. If Apple would prefer that course, however, that may provide an alternative that requires less labor by Apple programmers.”
A February court order required Apple to help the FBI by building a customized version of iOS that would disable several security safeguards, then put the software on the device so authorities can bombard it with passcode guesses. Only Apple can place the reworked iOS on Farook’s phone, as the only updates that an iPhone will accept are those Apple “signs” using its own cryptographic key.
Apple has contested the order, objecting on legal and constitutional grounds, as well as because the work would be a burden on the company that it should not be asked to accept. The last was what the DOJ referenced in the footnote when it said, “[handing over iOS source code and the key] may provide an alternative that requires less labor by Apple programmers.”
Because Apple would hardly give authorities its source code and key without a fight, the implication was that, failing compliance of the current order, the government may demand them.
How do you think it might affect our privacy and confidentiality in the future if this will become possible?
Do you think the government is violating our rights and freedom by demanding the source code from Apple?