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iCloud Data can be obtained with just a search warrant. The power of the All Writs Act is in making a company do work to assist in decrypting or accessing data, rather than just handing it over.

From Apple's Legal Process Guidelines [0]:

"It is further ordered that, to the extent that data on the Device is encrypted, Apple may provide a copy of the encrypted data to law enforcement but Apple is not required to attempt to decrypt, or otherwise enable law enforcement's attempts to access any encrypted data."

[0] http://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/law-enforcement-guideline...




Correct but they would not have had access to the the iCloud data without Apple doing work (Resetting password or handing over a copy of the data)

The original comment is correct.


Both comments are correct - Apple supplies iCloud data with a warrant[1], but the iPhone access was going to be under the All Writs Act[2]. No judge is going to accept an argument that handing over iCloud data is going to be an unreasonable amount of work to do in response to a warrant - and Apple hasn't even attempted to argue that.

[1] http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/05/new-guidelines-outline-...

[2] http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/02/how-apple-will-fi...


My understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong!) is that handing over a copy of the data does not fall under All Writs. If the map included warrants for iCloud data, etc, I'm pretty sure all 50 states would be colored.


You're correct. The All Writs Act is only of use if there are no alternative remedies. The best way to think of the Act is as a catch-all. It gets used when other remedies aren't applicable or don't exist.


I believe San Bernardino County was the owner of the iPhone so resetting the password would have gone through the standard process of sending a password reset request and then capturing the email at the server.

Apple may have assisted in providing the iCloud data in a more digestible form than what's available in the public web interface but that's more a matter of convenience than access.




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