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Apple to US judge: we can't unlock new phones

Apple told a US Judge that it is impossible for the company to access information stored on a locked iPhone powered by iOS 8 or newer. The court papers read that Apple said 90 per cent of the devices running iOS 8 or higher cannot be accessed; such action “would be impossible to perform”, after Apple strengthened its encryption methods.

This has me asking myself what happens if I forget the passcode on my iPhone? Throw it in the can and get a new one?

Anyway, Apple has given its stance on the issue late Monday afternoon, after a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York asked the company for its opinion on the Justice Department’s request to force Apple to help authorities access a seized iPhone during an investigation.

Apple told US Magistrate Judge James Orenstein that it can’t be done, but it can be – for the 10 per cent of iPhones running older versions of the iOS. However, the company said it would not do so gladly:

"Forcing Apple to extract data in this case, absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand," Apple's lawyers wrote.

A spokeswoman for Brooklyn US Attorney Robert Capers, whose office is handling the case, declined comment, Times of India (opens in new tab) reports.

The case is In re Order requiring Apple, Inc to assist in the execution of a search warrant issued by the court, US District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 15-mc-01902.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.