March 21, 2016 – Visiting Professor Kristen Eichensehr spoke to the Associated Press about the legal fight between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over whether the iPhone maker should be forced to hack into the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.
"What makes this issue hard is that there are security interests on both sides," said Professor Eichensehr. "On the one hand, encryption secures people's communications from prying eyes — criminals, foreign governments and the U.S. government. On the other hand, law enforcement and intelligence agencies seek to serve national security by solving crimes and preventing attacks."
On the eve of the court date, however, federal prosecutors asked the judge to cancel the hearing, saying a third party came forward to show them how they may not need Apple’s cooperation to access data in the iPhone after all.
According to the Associated Press, Professor Eichensehr said if that method proves viable, the federal government may have undermined its own case:
"If they found another way into the phone, that doesn't just weaken their case. It means they can't satisfy the legal standard to sustain the court's order," said Eichensehr, referring to Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym's Feb. 16 ruling compelling Apple to create software that would disable security features on the phone.