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Government Iphone Crime Privacy United States

FBI Releases (Redacted) Documents About The San Bernardino iPhone Case ( 35

The FBI released 100 pages of documents about the unidentified vendor who unlocked the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter, but "censored critical details that would have shown how much the FBI paid, whom it hired and how it opened the phone." An anonymous reader quotes the Associated Press: The files make clear that the FBI signed a nondisclosure agreement with the vendor. The records also show that the FBI received at least three inquiries from companies interested in developing a product to unlock the phone, but none had the ability to come up with a solution fast enough for the FBI. The FBI also said in contracting documents that it did not solicit competing bids or proposals because it thought widely disclosing the bureau's needs could harm national security... The suit by the media organizations argued there was no legal basis to withhold the information and challenged the adequacy of the FBI's search for relevant records. It also said the public had a right to know whether the vendor has adequate security measures, is a proper recipient of government funds and will act only in the public interest. In refusing to provide the records, the FBI said the records had been compiled for law enforcement purposes and might interfere with ongoing enforcement proceedings, even though at the time the shooters were both dead and there were no indications others were involved.
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FBI Releases (Redacted) Documents About The San Bernardino iPhone Case

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  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday January 07, 2017 @06:46PM (#53625285)

    What did they find on the phone?

  • Nothing to see, NDA is fine, we are fine, everyone is fine... down here -- we're ok... how about you?
  • by Marful ( 861873 ) on Saturday January 07, 2017 @07:12PM (#53625379)
    How exactly does a public agency, beholden to the public enter a NDA?

    Shouldn't any NDA they enter just automatically be null and void?
    • by NotAPK ( 4529127 ) on Saturday January 07, 2017 @07:17PM (#53625405)

      Agree completely. Surely contract law dictates that since the government can't legally break the law they can't circumvent FOI legislation? Hence, the NDA is void?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can def be bound by NDA when working with a Govt agency, I have be bound by several not to disclose technology or infrastructure while working with/for an agency.

      That aside, it is in the public interest to know if the technology has been breached (legally or not) and citing "active criminal case" is a huge cop-out with no way to check or dispute.

      It is because we say so, na na na na naaaa!

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Saturday January 07, 2017 @07:27PM (#53625445)

        You can def be bound by NDA when working with a Govt agency, I have be bound by several not to disclose technology or infrastructure while working with/for an agency.

        You have it backwards. This is the government being bound by the NDA of the private company. You're talking about yourself being bound by an NDA enforced for the government's infrastructure.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          I find it more believable that the FBI required the NDA by the vendor in order to keep both parties silent. In other words... a 2-way NDA.
    • Well they COULD tell you... but then they'd have to kill you.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 07, 2017 @09:51PM (#53626051)

      It's just another way they weasel out of FOIA compliance. They do the same thing with the Harris Corporation, maker of Stingray devices. If one of those comes up in court, the feds will drop the charges and let a criminal go free, rather than discuss the Stingray in court. It's becoming very popular in law enforcement to avoid FOIA any way you can. Did you know that in Massachusetts, SWAT teams are private companies [] and therefore immune to public records requests?

      Your tax dollars at work, creating the Brave New World where law enforcement isn't accountable to anyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Backdoors in USA devices is a definite no-no. You put a backdoor into a device, and Putin comes along, backdoors your democracy, and then he gets access to the backdoors in those devices.

    A good government quickly turned in one election cycle, and all those missle defense systems, all that military spending, all that NSA surveillance, all becomes worthless defense, if they can put a traitor in, who'll unlock the gate.

    5 eyes countries, spied on their own people on the excuse of 'terrorism'. They even allowed

  • They hired the Russians. Providing money to hack the election.
  • Anyone find the documents online? Can you send the link?

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