In a court filing made yesterday, Apple’s head of the global privacy and law enforcement compliance team, spelled out Apple’s responses to the myriad subpoenas that the company received to collect data on the San Bernadino shooters. Manager Lisa Olle declared that in many cases, including just days after the incident, that Apple not only collected multiple data requests from the FBI, but in many cases, acted upon the request and provided compelled data on the same day that the court order arrived in Cupertino.
Olle laid out in the timetable that after an initial phone call early December 5, Apple was served four times for data. The initial request was made on December 5 for three names and nine accounts. December 6 saw requests for three accounts, with same day service. On December 16, the FBI sought information on one name and seven accounts, and Apple delivered that day as well.
The search warrant for the suspect’s iCloud device was served on Friday, January 22, a month and a half after the shooting. All of the information in Apple’s posession was handed over on Tuesday, January 26. The Ex Parte application for Apple to develop the break-in tool for the county-owned iPhone 5c at the center of the case was served on February 16.
Olle, as manager of the law enforcement coordination team, also spelled out what she believes is required of Apple to conform to the application. Above and beyond the engineering effort needed to code the break-in tool, the department head is calling for one or two facilities similar to a US government “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility,” which would need to be “tightly controlled and monitored around the clock.” Also noted is the difficulty of communicating data, device accountability, and the need for “technical escalations” when dealing with law enforcement officials.
Laying down the groundwork for an “undue burden” defense, Olle also notes that she is expecting more law enforcement agencies to also request the use of the tool the FBI is demanding and Apple “would need to hire people whose sole function would be to assist with processing and effectuating such orders.” These new hires “would have no other necessary business or operations function at Apple” and would include paralegals, engineers, and forensic specialists dedicated to trial work.