Even though the government no longer requires Apple's help
to unlock the Apple iPhone 5c
used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook, it turns out that the FBI's prowess in unlocking the devices doesn't go past the iPhone 5c
. And that is why prosecutors in a Brooklyn court told a federal judge that they still need Apple's help to unlock a drug dealer's Apple iPhone 5s
The prosecutor called his demand "routine," while Apple said it was an attempt to set a precedent that could be used in the future to force it to unlock countless phones. Meanwhile, a judge in Boston presiding over a conspiracy case involving a gang, has told Apple to help the FBI open a locked iPhone that is evidence in that case.
The FBI claims that it needs help unlocking an iPhone 5s belonging to meth dealer Jun Feng
The FBI's solution in the San Bernardino case won't work with the iPhone that is tied to the drug dealer in Brooklyn, according to Emily Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department. Apple lawyers say that they don't believe that this is true. Farook's iPhone 5c was powered by iOS 9, which is a newer build than the iOS 8 used on the Brooklyn drug dealer's phone. Therefore, if the FBI's method cracked an iPhone running iOS 9, the agency should be able to use it to open an iPhone with iOS 8 installed. Apple plans on bringing this up in court as proof that the government is trying to set a precedent for future cases where a locked iPhone might contain evidence.
The drug dealer in the Brooklyn case is one Jun Feng. While the meth dealer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, the government believes that his iPhone might contain the names of additional suspects. Feng claims that he has forgotten the passcode to the handset.
An Apple lawyer also revealed on Friday that Apple has no plans to sue the FBI to get them to reveal how they unlocked Farook's phone. The attorney said that Apple updates iOS regularly which should mean that the tech titan will be able to close the vulnerability used by the FBI.