The United States Justice Department has announced that it will drop its lawsuit against Apple, having succeeded in accessing a terrorist’s iPhone 5C without the company’s assistance.
In a court filing on Monday and quoted by MacRumors, it was revealed that “the government has now successfully accessed the data stored on [San Bernardino shooter Syed] 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.”
Apple’s court clash with the FBI had been scheduled for Tuesday, March 22; however, ahead of that date, the FBI requested a temporary postponement, as it had learned a technique for accessing the iPhone without Apple’s involvement.
The government has not revealed how the data was retrieved, though the FBI had reportedly enlisted assistance from Israeli mobile software developer Cellebrite, a firm which uses “mobile forensic solutions” to help law enforcement agencies break smartphone encryption.
In a statement responding to the lawsuit’s dismissal, Apple said that the case “should never have been brought”, but that it “will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along”. Apple added that it remained committed to taking part in “a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy.”