The San Bernardino terrorist attack in 2015 that killed 14 and wounded 22 others was a tragedy beyond words, but also spurred a big debate across the country over whether or not Apple should help the FBI unlock one of the shooter’s iPhones.
Apple claimed to value their customer’s privacy over helping the government find information on the phone, so they refused to unlock it. In the end, the FBI paid a private company an unknown sum of money to break into the phone.Bryan Thomas/Getty Images
According to The Associated Press, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) accidentally announced the alleged cost.
While questioning FBI Director James Comey at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing Wednesday, Senator Feinstein revealed just how much was spent unlocking shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone:
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
“I was so struck when San Bernardino happened and you made overtures to allow that device to be opened, and then the FBI had to spend $900,000 to hack it open. And as I subsequently learned of some of the reason for it, there were good reasons to get into that device.”
That’s quite the price: $900,000 could buy the average American could buy a lot of things. For example, you can buy a five-bedroom house in Atlanta, Georgia, for just shy of that tremendous premium.Google Maps
Previously, Comey had hinted that the cost was more than he would earn in his remaining seven years on the job, which AP estimates to be about $1.3 million.
Both the vendor and the cost are subjects of federal lawsuits filed by AP and other news organizations. They have not been officially revealed by the FBI at this point.
Neither Feinstein’s camp nor the FBI has commented further on the cost.