Monday, March 21, 2016

FBI Retreats in Apple Case

The FBI case against Apple is on hold for now. The FBI in a court filing all but admitted that it was incorrect when it said it could not break into a confiscated iPhone without Apple’s help. Security engineers had said all along that there was little factual basis for the FBI’s helpless stance, and perhaps with the outcry the FBI has been shamed into taking responsibility for its own work. Another possibility is that the FBI saw itself losing a potentially precedent-setting case. Whatever the rationale, the FBI has asked the court for time to investigate its options. This is a favorable outcome in economic terms. It is better when the government can do its own work without delegating tasks by force to unrelated, unwilling, and unpaid third parties.