Why Apple and the FBI are fighting over an iCloud account

For the last six days, Apple has been waging the legal fight of its life over a phone used by alleged San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook. The case centers on whether the government can compel Apple to rewrite the phone’s security protections to allow the FBI access to the data inside. But while the phone itself is still the center of the legal fight, this weekend’s conversations focused on data that’s already been pulled off the phone to Farook’s iCloud account.

That iCloud account contains backups of Farook’s phone up until six weeks before the attack, everything from iMessages to email drafts. Investigators already have that data, and because the phone belongs to San Bernardino County, they didn’t even need a warrant to get it. But…

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