U.S. Government Drops Case against Apple to Unlock iPhone in New York Drug Case

Touch ID on iPhone
The second courtroom battle between the U.S. Justice Department and Apple over the unlocking of an iPhone in a New York drug deal case has ended in the same way as the first one. The government dropped the case on Friday and said in the courtroom that it managed to unlock the iPhone “late last night” by the passcode that it had obtained from one of its sources.

Since the iPhone is now unlocked, the government no longer needs Apple’s help in this matter and is thereby dropping its case. For safety reasons, the U.S. law enforcement agency will not be revealing the name of the source who provided them with the passcode.
“As we have said previously, these cases have never been about setting a court precedent,” Emily Pierce, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. “In this case, an individual provided the department with the passcode to the locked phone at issue.”
Apple had last week refused from helping the Justice Department in unlocking the iPhone in the Brooklyn case. It claimed that the government had not yet tried all other means of unlocking the iPhone, and that the government did not provide enough evidence to confirm that the method used to unlock Farook’s iPhone 5c in the San Bernardino shooting case did not work on the iPhone in question.
Had the case gone ahead, the Justice Department would have likely lost since the 50-page ruling by the magistrate judge supports Apple in the encryption debate.
This is the second time that a showdown between the Apple and the U.S. government has ended with the latter backing out at the last moment. If anything, it is leaving a bad impression of the U.S. government in the public eye.
[Via Bloomberg]


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