Apple disclosed interesting information that might help it in the fight with the FBI. The information came up via an interesting question asked by Rep. Cedric Richmond during the congressional hearing about breaking into the iPhone of Syed Farook (one of the San Bernardino shooters).
Apple has dealt with emergencies before
At the hearing, Richmond asked Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell how the company would handle a situation that involves breaking into the phone to obtain important data. The hypothetical question first reported by The Verge was about if a terrorist placed some important information about a forthcoming nuclear explosion into his iPhone and was suddenly killed.
Sewell was quick to answer and said Apple has dealt with emergencies before and cooperated in various urgent situations like looking for a lost child. He told lawmakers that the iPhone maker even helped in the search of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 two years ago.
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“Within one hour of that plane being declared missing, we had Apple operators cooperating with telephone providers all over the world, with the airlines [and] with the FBI to try to find a ping, to try to find some way that we could locate where that plane was,” Sewell said.
Apple makes its stance clear again
Answering the question, Sewell further said the first response of the smartphone maker would be to bring together all the emergency procedures at Apple’s disposal to try to find all the data that could possibly help in the situation. And in the situation posed by Richmond, the smartphone maker would use all its emergency procedures to help immediately, Sewell said. Sewell was suggesting that Apple is ready to work with existing agencies to do anything in its power to help instead of doing what the FBI is currently requesting it to do i.e., creating new software to break into an iPhone.
An Apple spokesperson refused to elaborate on the comment. During the hearing, Sewell was questioned, or we can say grilled, about Apple’s stance on encryption. The iPhone maker continues to fight the FBI over helping break the security on the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.