The FBI unlocked San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook’s iPhone, ending the standoff between Apple and the Justice Department that began in February.
A court filing today stated the government had ‘successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone,’ but did not elaborate on how or what information it managed to recover.
The filing also said the government no longer needs Apple to comply to a court order issued on February 16 to lend its help.
The announcement comes just one week after officials said ‘an outside party’ would step forward to help investigators unlock the phone.
A court filing today stated the government had ‘sucessfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone’ without Apple’s help but did not elaborate on how or what information it managed to recover.
In a stunning reversal last week, federal prosecutors asked a judge to halt a much-anticipated hearing on their efforts to force Apple to unlock the phone, saying an ‘outside party’ had stepped forward to help.
The surprising development effectively ends a pitched court battle between Apple and the Obama administration, which sparked a national debate pitting digital privacy rights against national security concerns.
The Justice Department wanted Apple to help access encrypted information stored on Farook’s county-owned iPhone 5C by writing software that would disable its passcode protections to allow an infinite number of guesses without erasing the data on the device.
Apple refused, saying the government’s request would create a ‘back door’ that could be abused by criminals and governments.
After the DOJ increased pressure on the tech company several times, it reversed its previous claims that only Apple could provide a way in.
It was announced on March 20 that an ‘outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone’.
It also stated: ‘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 assistance from Apple Inc.’
Apple responded to the announcement and told reporters it did not know what methods the government was using.
Source: Daily Mail