SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The FBI’s discovery of a way to hack into the phone of one of the San Bernardino killers may not be the master key that allows prosecutors across the country to unlock iPhones in other, more ordinary criminal cases.
For one thing, it’s not clear whether FBI will quickly share the technique it used with local law enforcement agencies. It’s an open question as to whether local prosecutors can afford to employ the method. And it is not at all certain whether the technique can be used with other types of iPhones.
The San Bernardino case involved an extremist attack Dec. 2 that killed 14 people. But investigators across the U.S. are seeking access to encrypted iPhones in hundreds of other cases involving drugs, sex offenses and other crimes.