Feds claim they have means of unlocking San Bernadino iPhone, ask judge to delay Apple hearing until April 5th
Date: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016, 08:54
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security
The great iPhone Unlocking Controversy of 2016 may have an end in sight.
The United States Justice Department today asked the court overseeing its ongoing iPhone unlocking battle with Apple to postpone a hearing scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 22nd. The DoJ says new leads have been discovered that could provide it with a way to unlock the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook without involving Apple.
“On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking [terrorist Syed] Farook’s iPhone,” federal prosecutors said in a filing Monday afternoon. “Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.”
“Accordingly, to provide time for testing the method, the government hereby requests that the hearing set for March 22, 2016 be vacated,” government lawyers wrote.
The feds have asked that the hearing be postponed for two weeks, until Tuesday, April 5th. During this time, those involved will see if the government can access the data on the iPhone 5c that’s beene at the heart of the case. Sheri Pym, the judge presiding over the case, has not yet given word on whether or not the government’s request will be granted.
Over the last several weeks, Apple and the United States government have been involved in a direct controversy over the iPhone 5c, the means of unlocking it, encryption and personal privacy. Unlocking the iPhone would require Apple to build a new version of iOS that bypasses iPhone passcode restrictions and provides the FBI with a way to enter passcodes electronically, something Apple has staunchly refused to do.
Finally, in a conference call with reporters, Apple has said that it insists on obtaining details about the FBI’s exploit to access the shone. Apple has also said that if the case against it is dropped, the company will not ask for details regarding the exploit.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.