Now that the big confrontation between Apple and the FBI is over many people are wondering why it took so long, especially when it's believed that the FBI hired a third-party company to hack into a suspected terrorist's iPhone.
This extremely public fight between a government agency and top tech company has sparked a major debate over the privacy rights of consumers when it comes to their smartphones.
One of the most recent developments in this story was the discovery of a device called an IP Box that can crack an iPhone's passcode in a matter of hours. This device doesn't require special knowledge of coding, or unique hacking skills. It's sold online and can be purchased by anyone for around $170.
During an investigation by The Mail, a newspaper in the U.K., the IP Box was put to the test and was able to unlock an iPhone 5C - the same type of phone that belonged to Syed Farook, which was the center of the FBI's investigation.
It took around six hours before the IP Box finally came to the correct passcode of 3298, but the demonstration still proved that the FBI's bullying of Apple was probably completely unnecessary.
To be fair, the iPhone 5C that was tested by The Mail was operating on iOS 7, versus the more current iOS 9 that was installed on the phone from the San Bernardino suspected terrorist. But, as more experts weigh in on the case, the general consensus is that devices like these could have easily been used to crack the phone's passcode. And that makes you wonder why the FBI ever felt it was necessary to strong arm Apple in the first place.
As for the safety and ethics behind using devices like the IP Box, that's something still up for debate. Makers of the IP Box claim it was not designed with malicious intentions in mind, but was instead designed for practical reasons.
"We have helped many families who had a family member die suddenly get sentimental photos off of their device," said a rep. "We have also helped many people get access to all their phone book contacts, especially people in business, who put everything in their iPhones such as suppliers and customer contact details that would be totally lost unless they cracked the passcode to their phone."