Edward Snowden accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation Monday night of perjuring itself by claiming that it just could not figure out how to hack an iPhone on its own.

"They exploited trust in pursuit of precedent," the former National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower said in a message on Twitter. "Every credible expert knew there were alternative means. That [the] FBI went so far on so little demonstrated a disregard of facts: bad faith."

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"Perjury never felt so good," Snowden added.



The FBI on Monday said that it may have found a way to hack an iPhone used by perpetrators of December's terrorist attack in California. The admission came after more than a month of the agency saying that it couldn't hack the device without assistance from Apple. Critics said the agency was lying simply because it wanted to set a precedent that it could force companies to assist with breaking into devices.

Snowden had been sending cryptic messages over Twitter since at least February 18 hinting that the agency could be accused of perjury when its claim was found to be false. He alluded that day to a sworn declaration the agency made in court that it could find "no alternative means" to hacking a phone without Apple's assistance.

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On Monday, Snowden said, the developments had "permanently [damaged] the credibility of FBI claims on encryption. This was basic pre-trial work."