FBI Director James Comey says Apple unlocking case will not be a ‘trailblazer’ for precedent

BY Evan Selleck

Published 25 Feb 2016

James Comey

The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to try and convince everyone watching its battle with Apple that it won’t set a precedent.

The agency’s Director, James Comey, echoed those sentiments yet again while speaking to the House Intelligence Committee recently, as reported by Reuters. Comey told the panel that he does not believe the court order put against Apple will result in any kind of precedent moving forward. He went as far as to say that it is “unlikely to be a trailblazer,” in that regard.

This is not something that Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, agrees with. He has stated in many instances, and has had those sentiments echoed by other companies and individuals, that the FBI’s wish for a backdoor into the mobile platform iOS is a step in the wrong direction, and that if a backdoor exists at all, then it is accessible by anyone — not just Apple, or the United States government.

While Comey says this particular case isn’t a trailblazer, he did say, almost immediately after, that the legal battle would ultimately “be instructive for other courts,” based on the final decision. Considering the FBI is currently seeking to access 12 other iPhones at the very same time it’s trying to access the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, that is more than worrisome in its language.

Director Comey has not been shy about his stance regarding Apple’s focus on encryption and security, raising concerns on more than one occasion back in 2015.

Recently, Tim Cook went on the air with ABC News to discuss the battle with the FBI, and told David Muir that creating a backdoor into iOS would be the “equivalent of cancer.”

[via Reuters]