Well, it looks like Apple‘s legal battle with the FBI is over.
After the FBI spent over a month using the legal system to try and force Apple to break into an iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook – which spilled over into a public fight between Silicon Valley tech companies and the US government – the Department of Justice has dropped its case.
That’s because the FBI “successfully used a mysterious technique without Apple’s help to break into [the] iPhone” with the help of an unknown third party, which is worrying in the extreme.
In its motion, the DoJ states:
“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.”
Now that the DoJ has backed out of the case, Apple can no longer file for information about either the third party or the method used, which the Guardian reports has been “classified” by officials. Essentially, they’re preventing Apple from reengineering its smartphones so this technique no longer works, leaving all iPhones vulnerable to infiltration.
At the moment, Apple has not made a statement over the case being dropped, but this remains the hottest take thus far:
FBI agent took phone home, left it on bureau next to “sleeping” girlfriend while he showered https://t.co/BFPTboAW2L
— Joel Pavelski (@joelcifer) March 28, 2016