FBI Now Says It Didn’t Err When Trying to Reset San Bernardino attacker’s iCloud password

IPhone 6By Steve Neavling

FBI officials are backing off earlier claims made by Director James Comey that “there was a mistake” made by investigators when they tried to gain access to an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

In a court filing on Thursday, FBI officials said the decision to reset the password of an iCloud account tied to Syed Farook, who killed 14 people with the help of his wife in the Dec. 2 shootings, did not make a difference in accessing data from the phone, The Dallas Morning News reports. 

Farouk turned off iCloud backups for his mail, photos and notes, said FBI Agent Chris Pluhar.

The sworn declaration was intended to rebut claims from Apple that the FBI erred when it tried to change the iCloud password. If investigators hadn’t done that, Apple said investigator could have tricked the iPhone from automatically backing up to iCloud.

“In short, Apple is not some distant, disconnected third party unexpectedly and arbitrarily dragooned into helping solve a problem for which it bears no responsibility,” Justice Department lawyers wrote. “Rather, Apple is intimately close to the barriers on Farook’s locked iPhone because Apple specifically designed the iPhone to create those barriers.”

Apple took offense at suggestions that the company was trying to impeded the investigation.

“Everybody should beware because it seems like disagreeing with the Department of Justice means you must be evil and anti-American, nothing could be further from the truth,” Apple senior vice president and general counsel Bruce Sewell said in a conference call with reporters.

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