Data encryption is readily available. There are at least 60 software applications that provide military grade (256bit AES) encryption, many of them free. These are not controllable by the Chinese or any government. This is the same encryption method that the NSA uses to keep our secret data secret. If Apple were forced to build a back-door into their encryption, users who want their data and financial info secure would likely switch their encryption to one of these others. Apple's approach using the Secure Enclave adds some defense to brute force attacks. Basically this is what the FBI wanted from Apple. They wanted Apple to eliminate the iPhone's ability to erase the data after a certain number of failed attempts. They also wanted a method to speed up the brute-force hack attempts. How long is your encryption key? Using the fastest super computers to attempt a brute-force crack on an encryption key could take years if you have chosen a very long key. The number of possible keys goes up exponentially with each added character in your key. Of course, if you are in China and choose not to give up your encryption key to the government, you may disappear forever.
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Why would a pair of terrorists destroy their personal smartphones and NOT this county owned iPhone? Simple... there was nothing of any use on this iPhone. Think about this, if you were a terrorist planning a massacre, would you trust a county owned iPhone with your secret info? If they were taking a sledge hammer to the other smartphones it would have been a simple matter to smash this iPhone too and they would certainly have done so if there was anything useful on it.
I see this whole thing as a charade aimed at securing a backdoor into the technology. The FBI wants to add another tool to their arsenal like their fake "Interceptor" cell phone towers. Recalling that this administration learned from Rahm "Never let a serious crisis go to waste." Emanuel, should make it clear what the real aim is here.