FBI again finds itself unable to unlock a gunman’s cellphone

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WASHINGTON DC — The Texas church massacre is providing a familiar frustration for law enforcement: FBI officials say they are unable to unlock the gunman’s encrypted cellphone to learn what evidence it might hold.

The rampage might revive the debate over the balance of digital privacy rights and national security. But it’s not likely to prompt change anytime soon.

Congress has not shown a strong appetite for legislation that would force technology companies to help the government break into encrypted devices. And the debate about the issue has faded since the FBI tried to force Apple to help it hack into the phone of a shooter in the 2015 terror attacks in San Bernardino, California.

The Trump Justice Department says it will take a tougher approach toward getting information but hasn’t said how.

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