The FBI shelled out nearly seven figures to break into the infamous San Bernardino iPhone, according to a senator who may have let the world know with a slip of her tongue.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said last week that the FBI paid an outside group $900,000 to access the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook — information that’s supposed to be classified. Farook and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, on Dec. 2, 2015.
“I was so struck when San Bernardino happened and you made overtures to allow that device to be opened, and then the FBI had to spend $900,000 to hack it open,” Feinstein said said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. “And as I subsequently learned of some of the reason for it, there were good reasons to get into that device.”
Before the FBI got together with a third party, it appeared they were in for an extended legal fight with Apple, which didn’t want to give the agency access to its phone. The legal fight would have been monumental in the arena of security versus privacy, but, after a few public spats, the FBI avoided the whole thing by finding a third party, and Apple executives no longer had to choose between helping the government and insisting on the integrity of its products.
The FBI has still not identified that third party, despite news publications suing for the information.