Apple has provided Catie Keck at Gizmodo with a response to Barr’s attack on encryption and accusations against the company. The statement concludes with:
We are continuing to work with the FBI, and our engineering teams recently had a call to provide additional technical assistance. Apple has great respect for the Bureau’s work, and we will work tirelessly to help them investigate this tragic attack on our nation.
We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.
From the Gizmodo article:
When asked specifically whether the company intended to unlock the phones, Apple only pointed Gizmodo back to its statement.
Is it even possible for Apple to unlock the iPhones? My assumption is a flat no, but in all the reporting on this today, I haven’t seen this answered. I suspect, for fear of potential lawsuits or investigations from the government, Apple is very reluctant to even try: open that tube of toothpaste and it’s never going back in the bottle.