Epic Apple-FBI showdown ends in a whimper (The 3:59, Ep. 14)

We debate the winners, losers and conspiracy theories in the FBI's effort to get Apple to crack its own iPhone encryption.

Ben Fox Rubin Roger Cheng
Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.

Well, that was anticlimactic.

After weeks of buildup, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's effort to get Apple to break its own encryption code de-escalated just before a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday. The FBI suddenly revealed Monday that it may no longer need Apple to help it crack into an iPhone that was used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook.

For this episode, Ben and Roger delve into the showdown that wasn't and who came out ahead from the drama.

We also pay respects to Andy Grove, Intel's former CEO who helped make Silicon Valley what it is today. He died Monday at the age of 79.

The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by CNET Executive Editor Roger Cheng and CNET Senior Writer Ben Fox Rubin.



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