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Apple’s legal battle with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s locked iPhone has comes to an end

Published Mar 28th, 2016 8:33PM EDT
Apple Vs FBI

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Apple’s battle with the FBI has at long last come to a conclusion. On Monday afternoon, the DOJ asked a California judge to vacate a previous order which would have forced Apple to create a modified version of iOS.

According to today’s court filing, the DOJ’s decision to put a halt to all pending legal action came after the FBI successfully managed to access the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. As we reported last week, it appears that the FBI managed to bypass iOS’ security mechanisms with the help of an Israeli company called Cellebrite.

DON’T MISS: Warning: Anyone can access sensitive info on your iPhone without even unlocking it

The DOJ’s court filing reads:

Applicant United States of America, by and through its counsel of record, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, hereby files this status report called for by the Court’s order issued on March 21, 2016.

The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016.

Accordingly, the government hereby requests that the Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016 be vacated.

The FBI, we should point out, hasn’t yet confirmed which third-party helped them out nor have they revealed the methods used to access the terrorists locked iPhone.

“Our decision to conclude the litigation was based solely on the fact that, with the recent assistance of a third party, we are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone,” the DOJ said in a statement released on Monday. “We sought an order compelling Apple to help unlock the phone to fulfill a solemn commitment to the victims of the San Bernardino shooting – that we will not rest until we have fully pursued every investigative lead related to the vicious attack.”


Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.