Richard Clarke, National Security Counsel’s chief counter-terrorism advisor to three presidents (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush) and Special Advisor on Cyber Security to George Bush said that the FBI could have taken the San Bernadino phone to Ft. Meade, home of the NSA, and had the data in the phone a long time ago.
If, what they really wanted was, the data on the phone.
Which is not at all what they want. What they want is to set a precedent so that they can force Apple, Google, Facebook, Whatsapp and any other software developer to build them a version of their software that defeats the security that they have added to protect their users. Any time and under any circumstances.
Of course, this is what I have been saying from the beginning.
However, Richard Clarke likely has a little more “cred” on the subject than I do.
Failing that, they could ask the Chinese to unlock it for them. 🙂
Clarke is certainly not pulling any punches. He said:
The Justice Department and the FBI are on their own here,” he said. “The FBI director [Comey] is exaggerating the need for this, and the Attorney General [Loretta Lynch] is letting him get away with it.
No one knows what the courts will do or if Congress will attempt to legislate a solution. When Congress tries to take on technology, it is usually not a pretty sight.
What Clarke, along with a number of other cyber security and intelligence community members have said, is that this is a much bigger issue that even fighting terrorism.
Of course politicians dance to their own tunes and this is an election year, so who knows what might happen. Stay tuned.
Information for this post came from Ars Technica.