back to article You won't believe this, but… nothing useful found on Farook iPhone

The iPhone at the center of the huge public fight between the FBI and Apple has "nothing of real significance" on it – just as we suspected. CBS News reports it has been told by a "law enforcement source" that the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook does not contain any information of practical assistance in the …

  1. G R Goslin

    Honest

    I'm sorry, but I don't think that you can use 'government' and 'honest', in the same sentence.. Particularly if 'US' also appears in the same sentence.

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    Re: Honest

    Would have expected them to put stuff in the phone. Why waste a good opportunity to pin something on someone. Perhaps too many eyes on the phone at the time of cracking.

  3. Ole Juul Silver badge

    Re: Honest

    Speaking of honesty; has anybody seen any real proof that the FBI actually did crack that phone? I haven't seen any yet but perhaps I missed it.

  4. oolor
    Coat

    Re: Honest

    >Speaking of honesty; has anybody seen any real proof that the FBI actually did crack that phone? I haven't seen any yet but perhaps I missed it.

    Oh they cracked it alright. The only thing in question is the colour and style of women's lingerie they were wearing at the time.

    >>>I'd be the the one in a tasteful bedgown.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Honest

    They ARE the Law.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Honest

    It would have been much simpler to have just asked the third person involved in the incident - but oddly enough all mention of him has been scrubbed.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Honest

    They ARE the Law.

    Actually, that is exactly the problem. They are NOT, but would *love* to be, hence the shenanigans.

    And then they wonder why nobody trusts them.

  8. subject

    Re: Honest

    No. They're above the law - well above it. The test is whether they can and will be prosecuted for any unlawful decisions. And that's why the so-called "war on terror" already has been catastrophically lost. In response to relatively trivial death tolls we turned our own nations into moral wastelands, destroying the rule of law and with it everything for which we thought our nations stood, even before we started turning the "wrong" nations (never Saudi Arabia) into physical wastelands. The problem is not the surveillance agencies - it's the policing agencies and local government that convert all petty crime into national security issues.

    We, of the moral high ground, bombed the people of Syria over 22,000 times last year. And we whine when one or two of them go all entrepreneurial and bomb us back. It'll get much worse when our own people start using our own asymnetric warfare techniques (first deployed in acts of war against Iran by the USA and Israel) against us. Nothing to do with religion. When enough people with a grievance, including the non-religious disaffected middle classes, learn cyber-warfare, God help us. The Panama papers is just an appetiser. Who needs foreign enemies when we make enemies of our own people? Without the consent of the governed, governments are nothing.

    "I have seen the enemy, and he is us".

  9. Captain Badmouth
    FAIL

    Wot? No cat videos?

    Some mistake, shirley....?

  10. jonathanb Silver badge

    On a work phone? Not surprising. It will just be boring work related stuff that is already on his employer's Exchange server.

  11. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    And don't call me Shirley.

  12. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    FAIL

    Re: jonathanb

    "....It will just be boring work related stuff that is already on his employer's Exchange server." Yes, of course, because MS Exchange also records all SMS messages, the contacts, photos, the Apple email messages, the GPS log, Gmail, etc., and tells you what third-party social media apps have been used on an Apple phone.... Oh, sorry, you probably need a sarc tag, right?

  13. jonathanb Silver badge

    Re: jonathanb

    Contacts, yes, if you save them to an Exchange account. The phone company will have a less accuate version of the GPS log. The other stuff won't be on a work phone.

  14. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    Anybody who looks at the current presidential races in the U.S. can see that a lot of the anger out there is about the conviction that you can tell when the government is lying to you, because some politician's or civil servant's lips are moving. This plus ongoing polling numbers that show that negative public perceptions are at historic heights for just about every government institution (Basically, the armed forces are the only exception).

    The level of suspicion towards government motives is getting very corrosive. And our leaders continue to tolerate and even encourage words and actions that increase the suspicion even more.

  15. DougS Silver badge

    Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    The government is basically in denial about this. The Washington establishment (which is a single unit with two divisions indicated by a D and an R) views the support for "outsiders" like Trump on the right and Sanders on the left to be an aberration.

    Even if one of them should become president, their ability to really effect any significant change will be nonexistent because nearly everyone in congress owes their allegiance to the current system, because it guarantees them a job for life and an even more lucrative job as a lobbyist should they lose an election.

    While nothing stops an anti-establishment guy from running and winning a primary, and a seat on the house or senate, they have to play ball with their party to some extent to be able to wield much power via committee assignments, etc. Even with a lot of them in congress, how can a president Trump or president Sanders get enough of them focused on the same goals to get anything to pass against the combined might of establishment republicans and democrats who are too invested in the current system to want real change (i.e. trying to pass a constitutional amendment to reform campaign finance, enact term limits, etc.)

  16. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Re: DougS Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    "....to get anything to pass...." It's called an executive order, go look it up. Obambi has been very fond of them since the Democrats lost their majority.

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    "...anger....government is lying..."

    So in protest, they're supporting a loony candidate who is a pathological liar, unable to even avoid blatant inconsistencies from one end of a spittle-laced irrational sentence to the other.

  19. DougS Silver badge

    Executive orders

    If presidents could do whatever they want via executive order, it wouldn't matter who is in congress, because the president would be an emperor and do whatever he wants.

    Can Trump make Mexico pay for the wall via executive order? No. Can Bernie make college free via executive order? No. Can Cruz make all abortions illegal via executive order? No. Can Hillary raise the minimum wage via executive order? No.

    Sure, presidents can do some things at the margins via executive order, since every president pushes that boundary just a little bit further every term. Yeah, the democrats whined about Bush's overreach during his presidency, and now it is the republicans turn to whine about Obama's overreach. But neither side truly cares, because they know before long the shoe will be on the other foot and it will be their guy who pushes the boundary just a little bit further.

    Now what happens if an "outsider" takes office and tries to do something that isn't partisan, but something anti-establishment (i.e. anti Washington powers that be) that neither side really wants? They'll quickly pass a law an overrule him, or if that's not possible and the stakes are big enough, vote to impeach for his unconstitutional action.

  20. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    This plus ongoing polling numbers that show that negative public perceptions are at historic heights for just about every government institution (Basically, the armed forces are the only exception).

    And only an exception now because they've got such a long way to go to match the dizzying height of Abu Ghraib.

  21. Arctic fox
    Thumb Up

    @ Throatwarbler Mangrove You aren't going to strain him with facts, are you?

    The fact that Obama's use of executive orders is relativley modest and has been hansomely beaten by a number of presidents (among them R. Nixon and G.W. Bush) will not remotely hinder the poster to whom you are replying from alleging that Obama's record on this is especially egregrious. However, your link will hopefully hinder any more of that kind of idiocy on this thread at least.

  22. theModge

    Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels (UK version)

    Over this side of the pond were an entire party to resign en masse and be replaced by honest candidates and get in (none of these things are going to happen) then it STILL wouldn't make any difference because the civil service here can be mighty obstinate when they don't get their way and thus we'd still be governed by the same people.

  23. grandpamike1

    Re: DougS It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    I will make an assumption here, you are a Republican, and dislike President Obama, who by the way, was elected and re-elected by a majority of Americans. Your disdain, notwithstanding, the actual EO he has used is one of the lowest in modern history, You can fact check this,, on reputable news sites, not RW media or RW blogs, or even Snopes. The following is just one factoid, but it is representative of legitimate news sources.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php

  24. paulf Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels (UK version)

    As described in Yes, [Prime] Minister:

    The civil service is really the government.

    The Government is really the opposition.

    The Opposition is really the opposition in Exile.

  25. NotBob

    Re: @ Throatwarbler Mangrove You aren't going to strain him with facts, are you?

    It's not the quantity, it's the substance that has had people take notice. That's why bush et all are not so remembered for that.

    Most presidents here are remembered for something. Even if that something is getting stuck in the bathtub.

  26. DougS Silver badge

    Re: "armed forces are the only exception"

    That's really only because one party wraps itself in the flag and supports the troops as a form of nationalism, with everyone (except, in some cases, Trump) trying to out-patriotic the next, while the other party feels lingering guilt for the shitty way they treated the troops in the days of Vietnam and their current level of support is a form of overcompensation.

    Plus everyone realizes that the troops are just people, who were served a shit sandwich with the wars they've been asked to fight and how they've been asked to fight them. The blame really belongs with the people giving the orders, from today's commander in chief and his predecessor, along with the ridiculously bloated assortment of generals who still think they are fighting WW II and/or the Soviet Union.

  27. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Re: DougS It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    Okay, mods, I will not personally insult Matt Bryant, no matter how tempting, personally satisfying, or popular it may be. However, I am going to repost the link that was in my original, now-killed-with-fire response:

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php

  28. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    FAIL

    Re: Throaty. Re: DougS It's time for government in general to stop being weasels...

    Your link does not disprove that Obambi is very fond of executive orders now that the Dems have lost their majority. It also does not explain how someone like POTUS Trumpet (shudder) would somehow be blocked from the use of executive orders just because you want it to be so.

  29. Tomato42 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    what? no latent cyber pathogens?! inconceivable!

    this whole ordeal was pathetic on USGov part...

  30. RIBrsiq
    WTF?

    Well, I never...!!

    I am absolutely flummoxed and flabbergasted at this most unforeseen development!

    Positively shocked and perplexed, am I, indeed...

    !!!!!!

  31. Arctic fox
    WTF?

    @RIBrsiq "I am absolutely flummoxed and flabbergasted at this most unforeseen development!"

    Indeed. My flabber has never been so gasted. How I am expected to get over the shock here I do not know. Who could have known? Choice of icon - what else?

    On a slightly more serious note this makes a large contribution to revealing the FBI's fishing expedition for what it is. A totally unscrupulous attempt to create new judicial "facts on the ground". I am utterly convinced that their decision to go with this attempt to strong-arm Cupertino (and I am not one of the Fruity Company's fans, God knows) was an attempt to gain powers that have never been granted them by Congress and/or been tested in front of the "Supremes".

  32. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
    Happy

    Re: @RIBrsiq "I am absolutely flummoxed and flabbergasted at this most unforeseen development!"

    Yeh! You politico creeps.

    Stop in the name of Love.

  33. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    Re: @RIBrsiq "I am absolutely flummoxed and flabbergasted at this most unforeseen development!"

    "Stop in the name of Love."

    I would, but what IS love?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was anything useful ever found on an iPhone?

    Joking aside, I'm a little curious, Apple are a US company which is the country of infidels and Apple is an all american product so would a Jihadi really use an iPhone also considering the cheaper Android alternatives? I am aware this was his work phone but the general consensus here is for Apple to open them up to the US government which given the target demographic doesn't make any sense at all.

    I wonder if at some point we get a Snowden MK 2 where we actually get to find out exactly what the governments are really up to and what their intentions are. This isn't some tin foil hat comment but the more I see of this and other stories the more I have to question the motives.

  35. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The jihadis use whatever tools they can is the simple answer. There's no cell phones/smart phones made in any of the jihadi countries. Just like weapons... they have either buy, steal, or capture them. I've noticed the same thing you did but in the weapons and tech arena. They're against it, but they use it.

  36. Bloodbeastterror

    "would a Jihadi really use an iPhone"

    I'm sorry, but with the best will in the world that is a really stupid comment. Sorry. Do you really think that a nutcase willing the destruction of the western world considers the device or operating system? Seriously?

    And this was *always* going to be the outcome of this ludicrous case. Everything that this phone touched was already registered - every number in, every number out. Unless this madman got accomplices to pose for photos (duh...) what could the security services possibly have gleaned from it?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark 85

    Thanks, I didn't consider the arms side of the philosophy. I suppose death by hot dog would be the ultimate irony.

    Just to be clear for the down voters though, as it may be difficult for some Americans to grasp the concept but when I said "country of infidels" I was actually referring to the perception of others and not my own opinion.

    p.s. Irony is not anything Alanis Morissette ever sang, that's why the song was called ironic.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "would a Jihadi really use an iPhone"

    Yes I do actually believe that people that hate us (US mainly) for reasons known (middle east stupid wars and foreign policy) would actually choose not to use iPhones for that reason.

  39. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Re: "would a Jihadi really use an iPhone"

    Salafists (like IS) believe that the world should return to the time when Mohammed walked the Earth. but ever notice how they have no problem with using weapons more advanced then Swords, modern medicine and things like Social Media to get their message across.

    Hypocrisy is the term I believe...

  40. james 68

    " Apple is an all american product ", I don't think that means what you think it means.

    *cough*madeinchina*cough*

  41. chivo243 Silver badge
    Meh

    I called it

    but not surprised at the findings. History will call this another stepping stone in stamping out people's privacy...

    Win or lose, gubbermint 3 letters have at least set the idea in motion. Not sure how we stand now...

  42. goldcd

    *grins*

    So the NSA admitted they couldn't crack something others could.

    The FBI now admit they'd paid the "third party" to get absolutely nothing of any use.

    I'm not pro-terrorism, but for some reason this all makes me feel smug.

    I *think* it's because it symbolizes nicely that once again our governments are f'in useless.

    And I'm not quite sure why that makes me feel happy either.

    Best I can come up with, is that when I first strayed online I suddenly felt there was a 'new world'. A place beyond existing borders and control (I'd hopped on a ship and discovered ~the Americas). A place to be free (for better or worse - and mainly it was filled with lovely people).

    Since then the existing world seems to feel it can encroach - and my gut instinct is to resist them for every inch.

    The irony that it's America doing the encroaching, isn't lost on me.

  43. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Re: *grins*

    "So the NSA admitted they couldn't crack couldn't be arsed to look at something pointless, but others could"

    Fixed that for you...

  44. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Re: goldcd Re: *grins*

    "So the NSA admitted they couldn't crack something others could...." Er, no. The NSA simply decided not to help the FBI, which is a totally different thing to saying they could not hack the iPhone at will. It was in the NSA's interest to see if the court case could force Apple to build a backdoored for iOS.

  45. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Last line in the article...

    It does, however, put another question mark over how honest the FBI has been and continues to be in this case.

    It does, however, put another question mark over how honest the FBI has been and continues to be in this case as well as any other case of this nature involving encryption.

    FTFY

  46. GrumpyOldBloke

    Re: Last line in the article...

    As well as any other case of this nature.

    Too many false flags to advance an agenda to believe the official story this time. Didn't fit the eye witness accounts, a previous police rehearsal at the site and the contamination of *evidence* at the suspects apartment by media rampage. Good Bonnie and Clyde story for the TV though with that shot out SUV.

  47. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Re: Last line in the article...

    Very simple answer to the last line, they are liars at best and at worst traitors.

  48. cosymart
    Holmes

    Hanlon's Razor

    Some people are making assumptions that Governments (and Departments) are intelligent.... I give you Hanlon's Razor: "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity".

  49. Mycho Silver badge

    Re: Hanlon's Razor

    But eventually stupidity has to stop being used as an excuse not to punish.

  50. Swarthy Silver badge

    Re: Hanlon's Razor

    I see your Hanlon's razor and raise you Clark's law: "sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice".

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