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Its Apple’s version of “Groundhog Day”—complete with a cameo by the FBI. The agency wants to penetrate the encryption guarding the contents of two iPhones used by a gunman during last month’s shooting at a naval air station in Pensacola, Florida, but Apple is characteristically reluctant to prop open a backdoor. However, a recent article by The New York Times indicates that the situation may be escalating more quickly than the technology giant expected.

The debate over whether or not tech companies should build backdoors into their encryption has been raging for some time now, with Apple and other tech companies continuing to refuse to install law enforcement backdoors for fear of the key falling into the wrong hands. Meanwhile, the Justice Department appears determined to press the issue in the case of Pensacola in what may be an ultimately futile attempt to establish a favorable precedent for law enforcement to fall back on the next time it’s locked out of a system.

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Frank Ready

Frank Ready is a reporter on the tech desk at ALM Media. He can be reached at [email protected]

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