It's been an incredible month for Apple, the FBI, and all of us. We've been sitting back, watching the battle of these two giants, as a conclusion about whether or not the FBI should have a right to access encrypted data on someone's smartphone is reached. It seems like not a day can go by without an update to this interesting saga, and we've been keeping you informed throughout it all.
Late last week, we saw an interesting twist: the FBI came out and said that if Apple doesn't want to help it out, or invest its own time to help the FBI accomplish its goal, then the company could simply hand over its source code. It's hugely unlikely that this would ever happen, and even if it did, there's no proof that it'd help the FBI break through the encryption it needs to. This kind of request does little but highlight the FBI's desperation.
Well, we've come to another landmark in this journey: Apple has handed over the San Bernardino terrorist's iCloud data, which should include their message history. It's not clear exactly how any limitations were bypassed, but the FBI has what it wants (we think), and now Apple has to look to the future. While it was able to hand over some data this time, it wants to make sure that it's not possible in the future - this is one hole to be plugged.
Amongst this all, jabs have been hit at Apple for making better exceptions to security rules in other countries, like China. But while Apple acknowledges that it "responded to" some 4.4K requests from the Chinese government in the first half of 2015, what the country has been asking of it pales in comparison to what the US government is right now. That's, in effect, to gain access to any iDevice it wants to, whenever it wants to.
To reaffirm its stance, Apple says that it uses the same security protocols the world over, and that it's never worked with any government agency to break through iPhone security.
It's clear at this point that Apple is doing a great job of keeping its users' data safe, but there's more to be done. Effectively, "encrypt all the things!". In fact, given the sheer hassle the FBI has proven to be for Apple, it'd be nice to see the Cupertino company make its iPhones even more secure going forward.