Cybersecurity expert Rick Forno comments on Dept. of Justice order for Apple to unlock cell phone

The U.S. Department of Justice has a issued a court order to Apple for their assistance with unlocking an iPhone that may contain information about the San Bernardino shooting that took place in December 2015. Rick Forno, director of UMBC’s graduate program in cybersecurity and assistant director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, reflected on how this case puts Apple in an unusual and challenging position, during an interview on the BBC’s Up All Night program.

umbc-faculty-Rick-FornoFrom his perspective, Forno thinks it is possible for Apple to update one specific device so that the Department of Justice can access the content on that device, which would allow Apple to comply with the order. However, Forno explains that the real issue involved is the question of the future. “What is to stop the FBI or law enforcement—state, local, global—from contacting Apple asking for the same consideration on other devices,” he says.

Forno also spoke with Southern California Public Radio (KPCC) about the issue. He says that there is some information that may be solely on the phone and may point investigators to encrypted data and communications.

“A phone is a almost a digital archive of our entire lives,” he said.

On February 23, Forno was a guest on WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show to discuss the ongoing issue between Apple and the FBI. He talks about the importance of acknowledging the nature, capabilities, and risks that the technology presents.

Listen to the full interview, “Up All Night: 18/02/2016” on the BBC. Forno’s interview begins around 1:21:00. Read “What the FBI might be looking for on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone,” on Southern California Public Radio. Listen to the full episode of The Marc Steiner Show. Forno is introduced around 02:50.

Photo by Yuri Samoilov, CC by 2.0