A man on his iPhone shows a protest message in a small rally which was in support of Apple’s refusal to help FBI to access gunman’s cellphone who in the San Bernardino in Santa Monica, California, US was involved in the killing of 14 people. It is shown in Feb 23rd, 2016 file photo.
In this week, Obama administration sources said that, the company with the help of which FBI unlocked shooter’s iPhone of San Bernardino to get data, has main legal ownership of method, to make it highly unlikely technique which will be disclosed to Apple or other entity by the government.
The White House has special procedure to review technology security flaws and to decide which one should be made public. But, it is not set up to reveal or handle flaws which are discovered and owned by private companies, the sources said, raising questions above the effectiveness of the so-called Vulnerabilities Equities Process.
The secretive process was made or created mainly to let various government interests debate about with the given technology flaws what should be done, rather than leaving it to the various agencies like National Security Agency, that usually prefers to keep vulnerabilities secret so that they can use them later.
The effort of government to force Apple in helping unlock the San Bernardino iPhone have reignited a national debate about security, encryption and privacy that even the after the justice, continued to rage for two weeks, and said it broke into phone about the help of Apple.
According to sources, non US company was supplying the technology which was used to get into the phone, and later they declined to identify.
The sources said on condition they not be named, that It would not be possible for the FBI to submit the method to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process without the cooperation from the company, even it wanted to.
The FBI itself does not clearly know the technique details, enough to determine that it worked. It is according to the Rob Knake who managed the process of White House before leaving last year and to the government.
In February, the FBI said that it was unable to get into the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook iPhone 5c without taking help from Apple, and it won the order from court compelling the Silicon Valley icon to break into device. Apple which is backed by much of the tech industry complained that order would in effect which could make businesses as arms of state.
A day before crucial court hearing, the justice department dropped the matter saying that a new way has been found to get into phone.
At the time, Apple said that it is hoped that maneuver would be disclosed so that it could be able to fix the flaw before criminals discover and exploit it.
In New York separate case, the Justice Department is trying to take help from Apple o extract data from iPhone 5s of a drug dealer. Dan Guido, who is a phone security expert said that it would be easier for Apple to do for some technical reasons. though it would much more tougher for the contractor or FBI.
Two battled spotlight a long running but sometimes aired conflict over whether information about software security lapses, Intelligence agencies or law enforcement, who want the knowledge to snoop or disclosed to the technology companies, so they can patch the holes, should keep it secret.
About the Vulnerabilities Equities Process 2013 after raising of the question, Michael Daniel who is cyber security policy coordinator of While House said it was “reinvigorated”, though information remained undisclosed that was as basic as which departments are involved.
Daniel ha also written that factors to be weighed include how much danger to be posed to society and how easy a flaw would be for outsiders to find.
But according to Knake, to handle the situation a procedure had been created in 2010 like FBI technologist in a lab for circumventing security by inventing a method.
Knake also said that “the government could not force companies to share their methods which they are trying to sell, and there is no any way to stop government agencies from buying from those companies”.
Knake said that the procedure could be improved if it were revamped again to deal with the exploit market place reality.
White House referred questions to the FBI, which even after seeking comment, did not respond to the emails.
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