The FBI will stop pursuing Apple over the iPhone 5C belonging to the San Bernardino shooter, but not because it decided to leave the company alone, but because it managed to get the data, without Apple’s help.
In a Justice Department statement, published by The Verge on this link, it says that the data is now in the hands of the government, and that Apple should no longer be pressured.
“The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16 2016”, the statement says.
“Accordingly, the government hereby requests that the Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016 be vacated.”
This brings the first chapter of the FBI vs Apple saga to a close, but I doubt this is the last time we will see a similar battle between a tech company and law enforcement agencies over private data and backdoors.
We recently reported how the FBI apparently asked an Israeli tech company to help them with extracting the data from the phone.
The news about Cellebrite working on the iPhone broke out less than a week ago.
Apple and the FBI have been locked in a legal battle over the iPhone for a couple of months now. On one hand, the FBI said the phone could hold valuable information about future terrorist attacks, and that the company should create a backdoor for law enforcement agencies.
Apple refused, fearing it might lose its customers looking for privacy, and said such a practice could have ‘chilling implications’.