Justice Dept. Watchdog Says FBI Could Have Tried Harder to Hack iPhone as Part of San Bernardino Terrorism Investigation

The Justice Department’s watchdog says FBI officials did not try as hard as possible to unlock an iPhone as part of a terrorism investigation, even as then-Director James Comey told Congress the bureau had expended its options and needed Apple’s help.

The department’s inspector general said in a Tuesday report it found no evidence the FBI was able to access the data on the phone belonging to one of the gunmen in a 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

But the report says communication failures among FBI officials delayed the search for a solution. The Justice Department at the same time was fighting Apple in court to try to force it to hack the phone. The FBI later paid a third party to open the device.

Source: Associated Press