FBI should disclose iPhone vulnerability to Apple, Edward Snowden says

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Infamous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has once again weighed in on the Apple-FBI battle, this time saying that the bureau should disclose the vulnerability used to crack the San Bernardino iPhone in the interest of national cybersecurity.

Apple's attempts to compel disclosure through the court system are "proper," Snowden said during a debate hosted by NYU Wagner. His remarks were first noted by VentureBeat.

"When the FBI finds a case that is so exceptional that they have to break the security of the device to get in it, it merits these kinds of exceptional circumstances, they should try to do that," Snowden said. "At the same time, they should make sure they close the door behind them, so that the rest of us, whether we work at UNICEF or whether we work at Starbucks, are safe and don't face the same threats tomorrow."

The bureau revealed last week that it would not submit the method — for which it paid approximately $1 million — for review and possible disclosure by a federal panel. This has been widely panned by security advocates, including Snowden, who argue that the FBI has a responsibility to the public.

"They're not doing it to help [Apple], they're doing it to help the country, they're doing it to help everyone in America who uses those products, who uses those services," Snowden added.

Complicating matters is the fact that it's still unclear whether the FBI even knows what the exploit is, or if it has the legal right to disclose it. Even FBI Director James Comey is reportedly unaware of the identity of the group responsible for unlocking the device.