Gov. Unlocked iPhone In NYC Drug Case without Apple

Posted by at 8:49 am on April 25, 2016

DOJ LogoThe Justice Department said it received help unlocking an iPhone involved in a drug case in New York City and has withdrawn its lawsuit against Apple.

The government originally sought to compel Apple to unlock the device. In March, a magistrate judge sided with Apple and ruled the government can’t force companies to hack their own products. The government initially appealed that decision. This week, however, the case took a turn.

“[Thursday] evening, an individual provided the passcode to the iPhone at issue in this case,” said the Justice Department in a letter sent to the presiding judge. “The government used that passcode by hand and gained access to the iPhone. Accordingly, the government no longer needs Apple’s assistance to unlock the iPhone, and withdraws its application.” Federal prosecutors didn’t say who provided the passcode.

The owner of the phone, who has already been convicted, claimed he didn’t remember the phone’s passcode. This is the second time the government was able to unlock an iPhone after initially saying it couldn’t.

The other, more prominent case involved the device owned by the suspects in the San Bernardino shooting. Apple declined to comment.

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