Apple asks for delay in New York iPhone case pending FBI's new unlock method

Apple is now asking for a delay in an ongoing iPhone unlock case in New York pending the results of the FBI's proposed unlock method in the high-profile San Bernardino case. From Re/Code:

The company on Thursday asked a federal judge in Brooklyn for a pause in the case to determine whether this technique, proposed by an unidentified third party, might also give law enforcement access to the iPhone used in a New York drug trafficking case.

The Justice Department won't report back on whether the proposed method in the San Bernardino case has worked until April 5. Until that time, the parties involved in the New York case "lack sufficient information to determine the most appropriate way for the matter to proceed," argues Apple's attorney in the case, Marc Zwillinger.

As noted by Re/Code, the government has until March 29 to respond to Apple's request.

In both the San Bernardino case and the New York case, the government is relying on the All Writs Act as its argument for compelling Apple to assist in unlocking the iPhones at the center of each case. Given the similarities, it's likely that the outcome of one case could influence the other.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster
  • I am a little confused here. If a third party comes up,wth a way to break into the iPhone, isn't that hacking? If so, isn't hacking illegal? Seems to me that's similar to,someone coming up with a way to enter my house without the key, that's called breaking and entering.....
  • That’s alright they’ll just torture the phone in another country and bypass whatever laws they need to. Extraordinary Rendition for phones.
  • A better comparison would be the police having a warrant to enter and search your house, which is legal. Sent from the iMore App
  • In your example, would the battering ram be considered the "hacking method" for entering your house? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Sure, and there's no issue with it if there's a warrant.
    A good comparison for the initial issue would be the government forcing a battering ram company to make a new design just for them. That I don't agree with.
  • Just realized you were likely referring to the third party breaking the law. If they are doing it on behalf of the government as part of a legal investigation then it is not illegal. Sent from the iMore App