Sigh, this whole iphone thing is a mess. The best article I've found so far is this one which goes into detail about the 'secure enclave' which is really at the heart of the matter. SANS' coverage is reasonable, too and for once The New York Times doesn't drop the ball. As far as I can tell, the central conceit here is that Apple is capable of breaking the encryption of any iphone with a weak pin. I have no idea if the government can compel them to do so beyond my knee-jerk anti-authoritarianism.
I can't imagine flying enough that this article about elite status programs would be more than a curiosity to me but there it is anyway. Some interesting chatter at HN, including some levels of elite status that strain credulity.