The following is an excerpt from MICHAEL LEARMONTH | March 28, 2016 | ibtimes.com |
The FBI claims to have successfully extracted data from the iPhone 5C used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, and is now dropping its case against Apple Inc., according to a court filing Monday.
The development ends a six-week legal battle where the U.S. government initially won a court order compelling Apple to defeat its own encryption to penetrate the phone, setting off an international debate over encryption. The FBI then abruptly postponed a hearing on the case last week, disclosing that “an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone.”
In Monday’s filing, Justice Department lawyers said that its efforts had been successful and they no longer need Apple’s help. “The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires assistance from Apple Inc.,” the filing said.
The legal and public relations battle captured the public’s attention for weeks. Apple offered a doomsday of “backdoors” that could be used by cybercriminals as well as authoritarian governments. The U.S. government countered that Apple is essentially making its products “subpoena-proof,” weakening law enforcement’s ability to solve crimes.
The dispute pitted Silicon Valley against Washington in an election year. Powerful companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon came to Apple’s aid, while state attorneys general filed briefs in support of the U.S. government, presenting iPhones at the center of unsolved crimes around the country.
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