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Apple Embroiled In Texas Mass Shooting, Gets Served Warrant

Apple iPhone SE.Andri Koolme/Flickr

Apple is no stranger to clashing with world governments over privacy issues, with both the U.S. and China previously demanding greater access to its products and services than the Cupertino firm was comfortable giving. This time, the iPhone maker has to contend with authorities investigating the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Now, there’s a lot to unpack in this particular story, starting with the fact that the warrant was served by local authorities to gain access to the perpetrator’s iPhone SE. This fact is notable because Apple readily offered its help during the aftermath of the massacre, TechCrunch reports.

As for the iPhone that the dead assailant left behind, unlocking the device would have been incredibly easy. Unlike the iPhone X, which has Face ID, the iPhone SE could be unlocked using the fingerprint of the user. As long as the thumbprint is still intact, it wouldn’t matter if the gunman was already dead. The device could still have been opened.

Apple said as much when it offered to help law enforcers with the matter. In fact, the company says that if the authorities reached out to the firm to ask for help, it would do so willingly. As of writing, however, it would seem that local law enforcement officials have yet to actually ask despite the fact that the warrant was apparently issued on November 9th, Engadget reports.

As a notoriously secretive company, it isn’t exactly surprising that government agencies would assume that Apple would not be willing to provide them with assistance with regards to the security of any of its products. However, the simple fact that the company reached out to authorities after the November 7th mass shooting is indicative of its willingness to give law enforcement exactly what they want. Now, things have gotten a lot more complicated, with the warrant putting Apple in a tight spot.

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