How far is the FBI willing to go?
As Apple filed its defense against the government on Monday, FBI Director James Comey was in Beijing, meeting with the head of China’s surveillance state. According to state media reports, Comey and Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun discussed ways to “deepen law enforcement and security cooperation.”
It was a diplomatic meeting, trying to warm a relationship that’s been chilled by countless hacking and trade secrets incidents — but it was also a strange reflection of the bureau’s ongoing fight with Apple. Both Comey and Shengkun are currently pressuring Apple to turn over the source code to iOS, as part of larger lawful access campaigns. In their desire for more evidence and more powerful investigations, the FBI and the Chinese government have ended up on exactly the same side.