Even if the FBI Cracks the San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone, the Encryption Debate Won't Be Over [telecom]

By Lily Hay Newman

On Monday [March 21], the FBI postponed a planned Tuesday court hearing with Apple about unlocking the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The agency said it had found a third party with a promising proposal for bypassing the device's passcode without help from Apple, which has been resisting providing assistance.

After weeks of pitched rhetoric, the decision seems like a sign that the FBI may not pursue this legal battle further. It would be a victory for security advocates who argue that undermining cybersecurity in investigations ultimately enables more crime than it stops. But would a retreat by the FBI on this case mean that the agency doesn't want to fight the crypto wars anymore? Probably not.

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