The Apple-FBI legal battle is over after months of court motions and hearings. The Department of Justice (DoJ) has dropped its case against Apple as the FBI has unlocked San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
The latest development comes after FBI said earlier this month that it does not need Apple’s help to unlock the iPhone. The DoJ is now asking the court to vacate it’s original order that forced Apple to help the government unlock the phone. “The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone, and therefore no longer requires assistance from Apple”, reads the court filing. However, the filing provides no further details on the nature of the new method used to unlock the phone.
Apple has issued a brief statement over the issue saying that,
From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred.
This case should never have been brought. We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.
Apple believes deeply that people in the States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk. This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.
The move brings an end to a chapter of Apple’s ongoing fight with the government over encryption and access to user information. The saga also saw top tech companies like Google, Facebook and others joining forces to support to Apple against the privacy legal battle.