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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

FBI taking help from Israeli firm ‘Cellebrite’ to unlock iPhone

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In a new turn of events, a mobile forensic software company, the Cellebrite from Israel is reportedly helping the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s attempt to unlock an iPhone. According to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper’s report on Wednesday, the iPhone being talked here is the one used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters.

The Israeli daily, citing unnamed industry sources further stated that if the Cellebrite is successful in unlocking the smartphone, the FBI will then no longer need support from Apple Inc. for the same.

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However, Cellebrite officials declined to comment on the matter.
Currently, Apple is already fighting a lawsuit with the U.S Justice Department over a judge’s ruling that the company should write and provide with a new software to disable passcode protection on the iPhone used by the shooter.

On Tuesday, the two sides were set to face off in the court hearing. However, a day before, on Monday, the government has requested to postpone the hearing, citing that a “third party” had presented a possible method for opening an encrypted iPhone. The federal judge has agreed to this request.

This new development in the Apple case can bring an end to the high-stakes legal showdown, which has provided enough fire for a broader debate on data privacy in the United States.

The Cellebrite is originally a subsidiary of Japan’s Sun Corp, which has its revenue split between two businesses: a forensics system used by law enforcement, military and secondly, the intelligence that retrieves data hidden inside mobile devices and technology for mobile retailers.

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