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Joe Uchill Mar 27
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DOJ: FBI botched initial effort to crack San Bernardino iPhone

An iPhone
Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When then-FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress about Apple refusing to unlock the cell phone of a suspect in the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist shootings, he was incorrect, but he did not lie, a new Department of Justice report concludes. According to the report, from the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General, Comey's statement that the FBI exhausted all avenues to break into the cell phone before taking Apple to court was "not borne out by the facts."

Why this matters: The San Bernardino phone became exhibit A in a heated debate between law enforcement and tech companies over whether phone makers should have to build a police access mechanism into every digital device. In that debate, law enforcement authorities maintain that they would only use such extraordinary access as a last resort. If the report is right, in this case it wasn't.