Department of Justice calls off New York iPhone unlock case

The FBI is ending its pursuit to gain Apple's assistance in unlocking an iPhone involved in a Brooklyn drug case. As reported by The San Francisco Chronicle, the Department of Justice today sent a letter to the New York district judge presiding over the case, noting that an unnamed individual had come forward with the iPhone's passcode.

From the letter:

Yesterday evening, an individual provided the passcode to the iPhone at issue in this case. Late last night, 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.

The move comes two weeks after the government elected to appeal a district judge's original ruling in the case, which held that Apple was not required to assist in accessing the iPhone under the All Writs Act. The government recently also dropped a similar, high-profile case in San Bernardino, California after it secured access to the iPhone at the center of that case with the help of an outside party.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster
  • The FBI keeps dropping these cases because they are afraid Apple will win and it will set a legal precedents for future cases.
  • "We swear, we've exhausted all possible avenues to unlock this iPhone!" "Have you asked the suspect what his passcode is?" "What? We can do that? Oh. We were hoping for a backdoor so we wouldn't have to talk to him."