Texas Rangers serve Apple with warrants for access to Sutherland Springs shooter's iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone
The Texas Rangers have served Apple with search warrants for data linked to the iPhone of Devin Kelley, who killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs near San Antonio.




On Nov. 9 the Rangers secured warrants for files stored locally on Kelley's iPhone SE, as well as his iCloud account, according to mySA. Another warrant covers an LG feature phone -- a 328BG -- found near his body.

The warrants seek access to calls, contacts, messages, passwords, social media, photos, videos, and other data reaching back to Jan. 1 of last year.

Two days after the shooting the FBI's San Antonio office head, Christopher Combs, complained that encryption was preventing investigators from accessing Kelley's data. The iPhone was at some point flown out to an FBI lab in Quantico, Va., but without success.

Law enforcement may have missed a critical window during which they could have tried to use Kelley's fingers to unlock his iPhone without a passcode, though it's not certain that would have worked. Regardless, investigators reportedly failed to contact Apple during that window, leading to Apple itself getting in touch after seeing Combs' press conference.

Apple has a policy of handing over iCloud data when served with a proper legal order, but the company is unlikely to cooperate in cracking the iPhone's encryption. The company famously refused to do so for the FBI in the case of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, arguing it would have to rewrite iOS to create a backdoor and fundamentally weaken security.

The FBI eventually recruited the help of a third party to break into the phone, dropping its demands with Apple, but no useful data was found.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    The incompetent government screwed up yet again and now they are going to try to make Apple looks like the bad guys.
    vukasikaSpamSandwichmac_dogJFC_PAAnilu_777Rayz2016adonissmudannybrookwatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 2 of 88
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    cornchipSpamSandwichmac_dogcgWerksadonissmuradarthekatjkichlinewatto_cobraspinnydmagman1979
  • Reply 3 of 88
    All I can think about right now is Chuck Norris. Hehe. 
    SoliStrangeDaystechno
  • Reply 4 of 88
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,682member
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.

    greg uvan said:
    All I can think about right now is Chuck Norris. Hehe. 
    LOL Right?!
    cgWerks
  • Reply 5 of 88
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.


    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobrajbdragonzoetmb
  • Reply 6 of 88
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,682member
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.
    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    That's the device encryption. If they can't can't access it then they just have to make that an official statement to them, but this is also about his iCloud account, which may not have unbreakable account encryption on their servers as this is inherently different from iDevice HW encryption. Even if it is unbreakable, they just need to state that and explain why. It's a warrant, so I'm not sure why you're focused on the legality of encryption but ignoring the legally of warrants.

    Also note that Apple tried to assist them right away, so there's no reason to suspect that Apple will not try to assist them now. If his iCloud account was accessible I'm sure they already have the data waiting for them.
    cgWerksmagman1979gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 7 of 88
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,337member
    Apple should tell them that they will consider this matter after pitchers and catchers report.

     ;) 
    edited November 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 88
    Apple:  "We'll give you everything we have."

    Texas Rangers:  "What do you have?"

    Apple:  "Nothing."

    Texas Rangers:  "Well, alright then..."
    genovellenetroxRonnnieOpeterhartspinnydmagman1979watto_cobrajbdragonjony0adm1
  • Reply 9 of 88
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.

    greg uvan said:
    All I can think about right now is Chuck Norris. Hehe. 
    LOL Right?!
    That means iCloud data. They don’t have access to data on the phone, so the warrant is useless. This is the equivalent of serving a warrant on the contractor who build a house with secure doors to give them the keys after he explains. I turned over all the keys to the owner of the house. 
    radarthekatspinnydviclauyycwatto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 88

    Soli said:
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.
    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    That's the device encryption. If they can't can't access it then they just have to make that an official statement to them, but this is also about his iCloud account, which may not have unbreakable account encryption on their servers as this is inherently different from iDevice HW encryption. Even if it is unbreakable, they just need to state that and explain why. It's a warrant, so I'm not sure why you're focused on the legality of encryption but ignoring the legally of warrants.

    Also note that Apple tried to assist them right away, so there's no reason to suspect that Apple will not try to assist them now. If his iCloud account was accessible I'm sure they already have the data waiting for them.
    Soli said:
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.
    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    That's the device encryption. If they can't can't access it then they just have to make that an official statement to them, but this is also about his iCloud account, which may not have unbreakable account encryption on their servers as this is inherently different from iDevice HW encryption. Even if it is unbreakable, they just need to state that and explain why. It's a warrant, so I'm not sure why you're focused on the legality of encryption but ignoring the legally of warrants.

    Also note that Apple tried to assist them right away, so there's no reason to suspect that Apple will not try to assist them now. If his iCloud account was accessible I'm sure they already have the data waiting for them.
    Soli said:
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.
    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    That's the device encryption. If they can't can't access it then they just have to make that an official statement to them, but this is also about his iCloud account, which may not have unbreakable account encryption on their servers as this is inherently different from iDevice HW encryption. Even if it is unbreakable, they just need to state that and explain why. It's a warrant, so I'm not sure why you're focused on the legality of encryption but ignoring the legally of warrants.

    Also note that Apple tried to assist them right away, so there's no reason to suspect that Apple will not try to assist them now. If his iCloud account was accessible I'm sure they already have the data waiting for them.
    The warrant makes no sense. It has been well documented and I’m sure Apple told them they can’t access the phone, so why even make such a legal request when it is moot. The only possible reason is deflection. 

    jazz isMacPromagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 88
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 392member
    The warrant makes perfect sense. Apple gets served with a warrant and turns over any data to which it has access. The Rangers don’t know what Apple has and what they don’t. If they don’t have anything then they’re no worse off. If Apple does have information and the Rangers never serve them with a warrant then they’ve done an incomplete investigation and potentially missed important information.

    Where it gets interesting is if the Rangers insist on Apple unlocking information for which it doesn’t have the key.
    anantksundarammizhougatorguywatto_cobramuthuk_vanalingampatchythepiratejony0
  • Reply 12 of 88
    The digital domain should be no different than the physical domain.  The authorities should have access to any personal information for the purposes of a criminal investigation, when authorized by a judge for special circumstances, like this warrant.  They should be able to go through your closets and crawl spaces.  They should be able to go through any digital space for files and digital fingerprints and tracks and trails of digital conversations.  Those who have nothing to be ashamed of have nothing to fear.
  • Reply 13 of 88
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 146member
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.


    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    The iCloud information will be available. Apple has provided that in the past in response to proper warrants. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 14 of 88
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 146member
    genovelle said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.

    greg uvan said:
    All I can think about right now is Chuck Norris. Hehe. 
    LOL Right?!
    That means iCloud data. They don’t have access to data on the phone, so the warrant is useless. This is the equivalent of serving a warrant on the contractor who build a house with secure doors to give them the keys after he explains. I turned over all the keys to the owner of the house. 
    On Nov. 9 the Rangers secured warrants for files stored locally on Kelley's iPhone SE, as well as his iCloud account, according to mySA. Another warrant covers an LG feature phone -- a 328BG -- found near his body.”

    The iCloud account warrant will be honored like Apple siesta does. 
  • Reply 15 of 88
    genovelle said:
    The warrant makes no sense. It has been well documented and I’m sure Apple told them they can’t access the phone, so why even make such a legal request when it is moot. The only possible reason is deflection. 
    My guess is that it's just a matter of procedure. What would people say if they didn't try?
    I don't think there is much of a mystery around this case, or much need to discover anything, aside from providing some answers to family of the victims.

    The big failures in this case were the military in how they handled it (reporting him to civilian authorities), and the failure of our health-care system and VA treatment of mental health. Also, big pharma might be involved too, if the info I've heard is correct.

    The guy had a violent history... even more violent than people knew because the military failed to pass the info along. Apparently he tried to get psych counseling, but couldn't afford it (that should be a shame on our veterans care system!). He also supposedly started on some meds... and having had some mild personal experience with this in the past... that can lead to some really bad stuff. Throw in family problems and such, and this isn't exactly rocket-science.
    spinnydloquiturlostkiwiretrogustoviclauyycmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 88
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,682member
    genovelle said:

    Soli said:
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.
    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    That's the device encryption. If they can't can't access it then they just have to make that an official statement to them, but this is also about his iCloud account, which may not have unbreakable account encryption on their servers as this is inherently different from iDevice HW encryption. Even if it is unbreakable, they just need to state that and explain why. It's a warrant, so I'm not sure why you're focused on the legality of encryption but ignoring the legally of warrants.

    Also note that Apple tried to assist them right away, so there's no reason to suspect that Apple will not try to assist them now. If his iCloud account was accessible I'm sure they already have the data waiting for them.
    Soli said:
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.
    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    That's the device encryption. If they can't can't access it then they just have to make that an official statement to them, but this is also about his iCloud account, which may not have unbreakable account encryption on their servers as this is inherently different from iDevice HW encryption. Even if it is unbreakable, they just need to state that and explain why. It's a warrant, so I'm not sure why you're focused on the legality of encryption but ignoring the legally of warrants.

    Also note that Apple tried to assist them right away, so there's no reason to suspect that Apple will not try to assist them now. If his iCloud account was accessible I'm sure they already have the data waiting for them.
    Soli said:
    alandail said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    Q: Is encryption legal?
    A: Yes.
    End of discussion.
    True, but this isn't that discussion. Apple has been served a warrant so they'll hand over all data they can access, in accordance with the warrant.
    if it's encrypted, Apple can't provide without the keys, which they can't access by design.  Making the keys accessible defeats the purpose of encrypting the files in the first place.
    That's the device encryption. If they can't can't access it then they just have to make that an official statement to them, but this is also about his iCloud account, which may not have unbreakable account encryption on their servers as this is inherently different from iDevice HW encryption. Even if it is unbreakable, they just need to state that and explain why. It's a warrant, so I'm not sure why you're focused on the legality of encryption but ignoring the legally of warrants.

    Also note that Apple tried to assist them right away, so there's no reason to suspect that Apple will not try to assist them now. If his iCloud account was accessible I'm sure they already have the data waiting for them.
    The warrant makes no sense. It has been well documented and I’m sure Apple told them they can’t access the phone, so why even make such a legal request when it is moot. The only possible reason is deflection. 
    1) It makes perfect sense. They need to do everything they can, otherwise someone will ask whomever is charge why never issued a warrant. CYA; look it up.

    2) You mention "access the phone" but ignore iCloud. If this asshole backed up his iPhone to iCloud and Apple can access his iCloud backups then they may be able to a computer-based brute force attack on this backup to see what has been saved.

    3) I say this as someone that doesn't want manpower and department money spent on a pointless investigation. They know who did the killing and he's dead. We know he worked alone. Maybe if you're a psychologist there is data to be hard in trying to understand the criminal mind, but that's not the job of Texas Rangers, as far as I know.
    edited November 2017 philboogieviclauyycmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 88
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,357member
    How about Texas Rangers ask FBI for help who bough iPhone hacking tool from some company ?
    Soli
  • Reply 18 of 88
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,682member
    wood1208 said:
    How about Texas Rangers ask FBI for help who bough iPhone hacking tool from some company ?
    Did they buy the tool or pay a company to do it? I seem to recall they reported paid over $1M for their services. I think that's excessive, but since there was evidence they we at least wanting to be part of ISIS it makes sense. Devin "Dickhole" Kelley probably doesn't warrant that expense. Then there's a potential issue that the same method and tools won't work on this shooter's iPhone if it's newer.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/politics/san-bernardino-iphone-apple-hacking/index.html
    edited November 2017 retrogusto
  • Reply 19 of 88
    Apple should legally hand over the unencrypted contents of the phone, but unfortunately, there is no way to do that without compromising the security of everyone. 

    A fact of life in the digital age, a key that opens one lock will open all locks.
  • Reply 20 of 88
    chasmchasm Posts: 509member
    Also, it is helpful to remember that “iCloud data” doesn’t include much either, since it is also encrypted. Things like WHEN an email was sent or a call was made, to an address or number might be available, but not the content of the message/email/call. If the shooter encrypted his iPhone backs locally rather than use iCloud for that, there’s not much Apple can do in that regard either. This is showboating, just like last time. And they’ll get the same result they got in the San Bernardino case.
    netroxadonissmuanton zuykovwatto_cobra
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