by Chris Smith
The FBI surprised everyone following its legal battle with Apple by asking the court to suspend Tuesday's hearing, as it found a new potential way to hack the iPhone 5c recovered from a San Bernardino shooter without Apple's help.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym has quickly agreed to postpone the hearing. The FBI has until April 5th to try its new iPhone hacking method, which an unspecified third-party brought to the Bureau's attention. The order asking Apple to assist the FBI in the investigation is stayed, pending a status update from the government.
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Well, this, as we used to say, is where the plot thickens.
Here again we have one of my lists-of-possibilities:
- The FBI has realized that Apple can out-lobby and out-spend them, and will likely win the court battle that the FBI started.
- The NSA has decided to stake its claim as the uber-codebreaker of the world, and to deny the FBI the capability it would gain by obtaining a hacked version of IOS 8 from Apple.
- Apple execs have received inducements, promises, etc., which made them decide to help crack the iPhone in question without admitting they're doing it.
- Apple and the FBI have gotten all the free ink they both wanted from this episode, and the unnamed third-party who has offered to crack this iPhone is the puff of smoke at the end of the magician's act.
- Some or all of the above.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.