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FBI paid under $US1 million to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone

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The FBI had paid under $US1 for the technique used to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen— a figure smaller than the $US1.3 million the agency’s chief initially indicated the hack cost, several US Government sources say.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will be able to use the technique to unlock other iPhone 5C models running iOS 9 – the specifications of the shooter’s phone – without additional payment to the contractor who provided it, these people added.

A week ago, FBI Director James Comey said the organization paid more to get into the iPhone than he would make in the remaining seven years and four months he has in his job, suggesting the hack cost over $US1.3 million, based on his annual salary.

The Justice Department unlocked the iPhone in March with the help of the contractor after Apple Inc refused to bypass the device’s encryption features on grounds it could undermine security for all users.

The FBI, not the contractor, has physical possession of the mechanism used to open the phone but does not know details of how it works, one of the sources said.

The identity of the contractor is so closely-held inside the FBI that not even Mr Comey knows who it is.

The FBI is still examining the contents of the iPhone in the hope they will help fill gaps in their investigation of the shooting last December that killed 14 people and wounded 22 people.

An FBI spokesman had no comment.

Reuters

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Finance Committee meeting deferred until 1 pm today

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KATHMANDU— The meeting of the Finance Committee under the House of Representatives that was scheduled at 9 am today has been postponed until 1 pm.

The meeting was put off for lack of a quorum, said Chairperson of committee Krishna Prasad Dahal. Until 9:30 am, only nine members of the 25-member committee were present in the meeting.

Issues relating to capital expenditures and non-budgetary release of fund were scheduled for discussion in the meeting.

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