The BBC and Ars Technica, amongst other sources, have reported regarding the FBI's latest filing in the FBI vs. Apple case regarding government-mandated unlocking of the phone owned by the San Bernadino terrorist.

The US Government's reply to Apple (which was linked to by Ars Technica) makes the claim (page 34, line 6) that:

For example, according to Apple’s own data, China demanded information from Apple regarding over 4,000 iPhones in the first half of 2015, and Apple produced data 74% of the time.

It makes the citation Wilkison Decl. Ex. 8 at 3. for that claim, which was not included as part of the document.

Did Apple's data show that they helped the Chinese government unlock thousands of iPhones?

  • 1
    – gerrit
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:19
  • 7
    There is a big difference between providing a tool to break in to an encrypted phone and "[demanding] information from Apple regarding over 4,000 iPhones". What information did China request. How often do US agencies request similar information and what is the compliance rate? Has China ever requested help decrypting an encrypted phone? Did Apply comply? What criteria made Apple refused 26% of China's requests?
    – PhillS
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:20
  • 2
    The title doesn't match the quoted claim
    – user5341
    Mar 11, 2016 at 18:13
  • 2
    Producing data regarding a phone, unlocking a locked phone and writing an operating system modification to unlock a locked phone are three different things. There is no claim here that Apple unlocked 4,000 Chinese iPhones. They may have simply provided information about what apps were installed, or what usernames were associated with the phones, from their own servers.
    – Oddthinking
    Mar 12, 2016 at 2:12
  • 1
    @Oddthinking - unless I miss the tech details (not being an iHead), they could also have provided data from iCloud which backs up data from the phones
    – user5341
    Mar 12, 2016 at 22:36


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