Though there was little doubt that this would be the case, FBI Director James Comey has stated that the Bureau's current struggles with Apple could set a precedent for future cases. Testifying before the Intelligence Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Comey said that courts around the country would take cues how this case unfolds, no matter which side prevails.
"I do think that whatever the judge's decision is in California — and I'm sure it will be appealed no matter how it ends up — will be instructive for other courts," he said. "And there may well be other cases that involve the same kind of phone and the same operating system."
Comey also stressed that despite this issue of unlocking the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects, Apple has mostly been helpful in this case. There was simply a line that Apple was not willing to cross. He also dismissed concerns about the tools Apple is being asked to create to unlock the phone falling into the wrong hands, saying that it will only work on the phone in question.
The director also stated that he believes that the larger questions on encryption should be decided by Congress, echoing similar sentiments from Tim Cook.