DOJ knew of possible iPhone-cracking method before Apple case

Weeks before the FBI sought a court order forcing Apple to help it break into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen, a sister agency was already using an Israeli security firm’s technology to attempt to crack a similar device.

The FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have repeatedly insisted that they had no other option but to force Apple to help them crack an iPhone used by the gunman Syed Rizwan Farook, at least until an outside party offered assistance earlier this week.

“We have engaged all parts of the U.S. government” to find a way to access the device without Apple’s help, FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers in early March. “If we could have done this quietly and privately, we would have done it.”

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