Former White House official Richard Clarke said the NSA “would have solved this problem” of unlocking an encrypted iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter.
But the FBI never asked for the NSA’s help and instead is fighting Apple in court to open the phone.
Clarke, a counterterrorism expert, said Monday on NPR that he would have asked the NSA to unlock the phone and suspects the FBI didn’t so that it could set a legal precedent to force tech companies to decrypt smartphones in the future, Newsweek reports.
“Every expert I know believes the NSA could crack this phone,” Clarke says. “[The FBI and the Department of Justice] want the precedent that the government can compel a computer device manufacturer to allow [them] in.”