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Senator Feinstein Revealed the True Cost the FBI Paid to Break into the San Bernardino iPhone



Patently Apple reported back in April 2016 that the FBI reportedly paid more than $1.34 million to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone used in the terrorist attack. This week we learned the official amount for that service when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees the FBI, said publicly that the government paid $900,000 to break into the locked iPhone of a gunman in the San Bernardino, California shootings, even though the FBI considers the figure to be classified information.


The report covering this story noted that "The FBI also has protected the identity of the vendor it paid to do the work. Both pieces of information are the subject of a federal lawsuit by The Associated Press and other news organizations that have sued to force the FBI to reveal them.


California's Feinstein cited the amount while questioning FBI Director James Comey at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing Wednesday May 3.


Feinstein stated: "I was so struck when San Bernardino happened and you made overtures to allow that device to be opened, and then the FBI had to spend $900,000 to hack it open. And as I subsequently learned of some of the reason for it, there were good reasons to get into that device."


The federal government paid the sum as it cut short an extraordinary court fight with Apple Inc., which was resisting a judge's order to help the Justice Department hack into the phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in a San Bernardino attack in December 2015. An unidentified third party came forward last March with a solution to open the phone.

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