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The FBI Is Apparently Paying an Israel-Based Tech Company $15,278.02 to Crack San Bernardino Killer’s iPhone

According to a contract listed on a U.S. government website, mobile forensics company Cellebrite, which is based in Petah Tikva, will work with the FBI

by
Jonathan Zalman
March 24, 2016
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The FBI wants Apple’s help to access an iPhone belonging a Rizwan Farook, a terrorist, with “hopes of finding crucial evidence about the December 2, 2015 massacre in San Bernardino, California.” Apple doesn’t want to help the FBI, citing “an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers.” The FBI might not need Apple after all. On Wednesday, Ynet reported that Cellebrite, a Petah Tikva, Israel-based company that specializes in mobile forensics, may in fact be partnering with the FBI to help break into Farook’s iPhone.

According to a contract between the FBI and Cellebrite listed on a U.S. government website, it appears that the partnership between them is true, as it corroborates with Ynet’s report. And how much will Cellebrite, a multi-national, multi-million dollar corporation that is a subsidiary of Japan’s Sun Corp. be getting in return for their services? Well, according to the contract, which was initiated on Monday at 12:29 p.m., Cellebrite will receive $15,278.02. The company lists its Parsippany, NJ, location on the contract, which lasts until January 31, 2017.

It appears that Cellebrite (searching by “Cellebrite USA Corp” on fpds.gov) has worked with numerous U.S. governmental agencies, primarily the DEA.

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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