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FBI, Apple battle may leave lasting legacy

Maria Korolov | March 24, 2016
The FBI may have backed off from its demand that Apple build a backdoor, but experts say that a lasting legacy will remain

Smart criminals can write their own code, and then sell it to others, he said.

"The innocent citizens are still vulnerable, but the bad guys are protected," he said.

Or the criminals and terrorists can simply use some of the many freely-available tools and apps already on the market, he added.

The fight's not over

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the FBI could come back to court in a few weeks and try again, or look for another test case with which to set a legal precedent.

"Overall, it seems a shame to not get some clarity in the courts over what the government can and can't request when it comes to privacy and security, and if this case does not reach a conclusion you can bet we'll be back in this same spot soon," said Carbon Black's Johnson.

"We still need to come together to answer the question, 'where and why can the US government access private devices,'" said Brian Stafford, CEO at Diligent.

We could be facing a much larger war still to come, added Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO at RSA Security.

"Apple may eventually bolster the encryption capabilities on the iPhone so that even they themselves can’t decrypt data," he said. "At that point, the stakes will only go up and rather than fight a single test case in the courts, the next resort could then be to pass legislation that permits the government deep access into the iPhone and similar devices."

That could take us back 20 years to the Clipper chip, he added.

"Clipper proved to be an ill conceived idea back then, and nothing much has changed to suggest that a reincarnation of it would fare any better," he said.


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