iPhone hack method will remain secret

spyThe outfit that helped the FBI unlock a San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone to get data is keeping sole legal ownership of its methods.

This means that it highly unlikely the technique will be disclosed by the government to Apple or any other entity.

In a statement, the White House said that it has a procedure for reviewing technology security flaws and deciding which ones should be made public. But it is not set up to handle or reveal flaws that are discovered and owned by private companies, the sources said, raising questions about the effectiveness of the so-called Vulnerabilities Equities Process.

The secretive process was created to let various government interests debate about what should be done with a given technology flaw, rather than leaving it to agencies like the National Security Agency, which generally prefers to keep vulnerabilities secret so they can use them.

Without cooperation from the company, the FBI can’t submit the method to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process even if it wanted. The Feds don’t know the technque either, just that it works.