The U.S. Justice Department says it successfully accessed data stored on an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and asks a court to withdraw an order compelling Apple to assist.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (REUTERS) – The U.S. Justice Department said it successfully accessed data stored on an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and asked a court to withdraw an order compelling Apple to assist, according to a court filing on Monday (March 28).
The abrupt end to a confrontation that had transfixed the tech industry was a victory for Apple, which vehemently opposed a court order obtained by the Justice Department that would have required it to write new software to get into the iPhone used by one of the shooters, Rizwan Farook.
. “From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a back door into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent,” Apple said in a statement late on Monday. “As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.”
But the larger fight over law enforcement access to encrypted information is by no means over. The technology industry is adamant that anything that helps authorities bypass the security features of tech products will undermine security for everyone.
Government officials are equally insistent that all manner of criminal investigations will be crippled without access to phone data.
At issue in the case was a county-owned iPhone used by Rizwan Farook, one of the husband-and-wife shooters in the December rampage in San Bernardino, California, in which 14 people were killed and 22 wounded. The couple died in a shootout with police after the attack.
U.S. officials said last week that they were hopeful they would be able to unlock the iPhone without help from Apple.
In a two-page court filing on Monday, the Justice Department said the government “no longer requires” Apple’s assistance.