FBI still cannot unlock phone of San Bernardino attackers

By Shawn Price  |  Feb. 10, 2016 at 12:20 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- More than two months after the San Bernardino, Calif. terrorist attack, the FBI is still not able to unlock the encrypted cellphone of the couple who killed 14 people at a holiday party, the FBI director said Tuesday.

Investigators have not been able to put together a complete picture of what attackers Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, did before and after the Dec. 2 attack at the Inland Regional Center and the inability to decode the cellphone has left a large gap.

If investigators can get data off the phone, they might learn if the couple was working with any others before the attack, if they planned other attacks and why Farook left a bag of pipe bombs in the building.

FBI Director James Comey, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, pointed out the commonly-used cellphone locking technology designed to protect customer data is a frustrating obstacle to law enforcement in cases big and small.

Alongside Comey was Director of the National Security Agency Michael Rogers, who said their needed to be the right balance between greater public safety and privacy protection.

"Let's start thinking about how do we figure out how we make this work," Rogers said.

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