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I have recently asked a question about a claim made by infosec.SE users which is, in simple words, "FBI can unlock an iPhone without Apple helping". This question was closed a a duplicate of this one, which references the initial claim as proof. So in the end, the claim made by infosec.SE users is effectively supported by itself.

I can see only two resolutions of this logical fallacy:

  • either "FBI can do X" is considered common knowledge. In that case, sorry for wasting everybody's time.
  • or, aswers on infosec.SE constitute a proof for Snowden's tweet, but can themselves be questioned as a claim. In that case, why is my question a duplicate?
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I don't think there's a circular dependency here (disclaimer, I voted to close your question).

The original question can be answered differently, without referring to infosec.se.

If you are not satisfied with the current answer, you can offer a bounty. There's a specific bounty clause for that.

Authoritative reference needed

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.

In particular, the community voting on infosec.se is more reliable than Snowden's statements, which is why we have the current answer on that question. However, a new answer, based on more official sources, would certainly belong there, so there's no reason to ask a new question.

In general, it is considered bad form to ask duplicate questions if the answers on one do not satisfy you.

  • First, let me mention that I didn't create a duplicate knowingly (if you check the edit history, you'll see that I initially phrased my question differently, and my initial search didn't include the word iPhone). I take the blame for posting a dupe though. – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 1 '16 at 15:49
  • Second, bounties don't really help in my experience; people either do have the answer (and will post it, or at least give a hint in comments), or they don't. The only bounty I was happy with was to reward an existing answer which I liked. – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 1 '16 at 15:51
  • And finally, I don't know see the point of insisting on this topic. If citing infosec.SE (or wikipedia for that matter) constitutes a valid answer, I'd rather not ask. I'm not being judgmental here, I just had different expectations (like a reference to a research paper, a link to a company offering such services, a plausible description of such process). A simple "yes, it is possible" is not going to cut it for me, no matter the source. – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 1 '16 at 16:00
  • @DmitryGrigoryev citing infosec.se is a valid answer, but it is a weak answer, it's perfectly reasonable to want more reputable sources. – Sklivvz Mar 1 '16 at 16:13
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Both questions have answers severely lacking facts. There are many opinions, people claiming common knowledge, and I sense many upvotes resulting from distrust of the FBI or related agencies (people 'making a point' by voting).

Maybe we should shut these questions down and point to Why does the FBI ask Apple for help to decrypt an iPhone?. The folks at Crypto StackExchange go into the facts much better.

  • Nice read, thanks! It's funny that crypto.SE folks actually assume the exact opposite of infosec.SE, namely that hardware key cannot be read directly from silicon. I'm kind of tempted to post an exact opposite of this answer to skeptics, citing crypto.SE question as a "reference". – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 1 '16 at 16:48

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