Court rules that Apple doesn't have to unlock drug dealer's iPhone

Court rules that Apple doesn't have to unlock drug dealer's iPhone
A federal judge in Brooklyn has ruled against a DOJ request for a court order that would force Apple to unlock an iPhone belonging to a drug dealer. This ruling could influence another decision in federal court about whether Apple must develop a new operating system designed to unlock the Apple iPhone 5c owned by deceased San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. Authorities believe that information about other terrorists and potential targets could be inside the handset.

Similar to the government's action in the San Bernardino case, the DOJ cited the All Writs Act as a reason to compel Apple to unlock the drug dealer's iPhone. But in the Brooklyn courtroom, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled that the government was unable to show why the All Writs Act applies in this case.

Because the government decided to use the ancient statute, which was originally part of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and was first passed in its current form in 1911, it missed an opportunity to get the court to decide whether Apple could be forced to unlock a suspect's iPhone. Instead, the magistrate in Brooklyn merely ruled that the All Writs Act is not the appropriate statute to use to force Apple to unlock an iPhone in this case, the case in San Bernardino, and all other cases that spring up in the future where the government wants Apple to open up an iPhone.


The 50-page ruling discussed several factors weighing on the decision, including the "necessity of imposing such a burden on Apple." Legal experts still believe that this legal issue is headed to the Supreme Court. Steven Vladeck, professor at American University's Washington College of the Law said following the decision, "What today's ruling proves is that Apple's objections to the order aren't frivolous and indeed might well be meritorious," said.

source: USAToday

FEATURED VIDEO

41 Comments

1. Mena13Suvari

Posts: 32; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

All lies! When they want something, they can get it! For heavens sake, FBI hacked TOR protocol when they wanted to arrest Ross Ulbricht, at least its what seems that happened. So how much more we have to endure this Apple BS? They all give when asked - Google, Microsoft, Apple is not any different. Just ask Edward Snouden.

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Can you prove that it's all lies?

6. Mena13Suvari

Posts: 32; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

Can you prove it that they are not? Or you need another Snouden to tell you whats going on?

10. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

If you had been paying attention, Apple is moving toward not being able to access the information in any way so that the government cannot compel them to do it. Snowden's revelations covered pre-iOS 8 and phones prior to the 5S, which was the first with the secure enclave. Yes, the 5S shipped with 7, but the number of 5S handsets without iOS 8 is small.

41. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Put up or shut up. Provide a source.

9. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I support Apple stand on this. They shouldn't pay the price for FBI folly. In fact, those in the knowing knew that Apple did sent whatever information they have to the FBI. To want Apple to develop a custom fbiOS that would potentially compromise every iOS device in the world just to make things easier for them is crossing the line. Good that things work out in the end for Apple.

11. Aploine

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

It says is not the end though. Is headed to the Supreme Court.

32. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

There is a court order on one of these and I haven't heard Apple comply. Either person, group, or corp. is committed to follow the rule of law or not. A Corp like Apple has the means to fight the issue while still complying with a court order. You can't shout the constitutions & specifically the 1st amendment, all over 200 yrs old, and then cite the law being cited is "too old and not applicable." People are dead in San Bernadino and more too come as a result of terrorism, and one of the primary function of gov't is to protect the people. In the pre-digital age, FBI, with a court order, could enter anyones home and take all their paper and info and can still do it today. Why not Apple? You cited the cost associated with this as reason for resisting responding to the FBI. In their business, it's called "risk" and cost of doing business; I won't believe a successful Corp. didn't consider these before issuring their OS. And if Apple's action are based on the bottom-line, they need to fire some folks. Regardless, we still have a privacy vs safety (proactive) issue. Even free speech has a couple of exceptions. Has Apple appealed? As Apple has extracted the required data previously for law enforcement, these brainacs could come with something that meets the needs of both positions. I agree some basic rights must be protected (I belived Patriot Act was far, far to extreme), but we need to find compromise/consensus. If our most innovative company can't do this, what hope for future-like issues.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Prove it, or shut up. We need links.

22. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Actually it is another way of thinking. And this can be a possibility too.. May be they did share the information that govt wanted with an agreement to create a propaganda that is going on now. To be honest I don't know what to believe. I don't think Apple made a customs version of iOS that can access to anyone's phones. Also I don't believe Apple hasn't shared anything to govt yet (they'll definitely cooperate to some end) All is speculation for me. Still I respect his way of think too because we need people who thinks from negative and positive sides and I love listen to them cuz they share different point of view.

33. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

What links? When you commit crime, you never leave evidence.

34. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Shut it, no need for link. Start using the brain. Common sense.

42. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Apparently it isn't so common for you.

20. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3938; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I don't acually believe they will get what they want this time. If the FBI could hack the iPhone 5c they would have done it already, or maybe they just can't hack it without Apple finding out that they did, much like the resetting of the icloud password. It's one thing for Apple to provide the FBI with info from iPhones connected to a crime, it's another to try and force Apple to build a custom version of IOS that gives the FBI full access to any iPhone, that's just unacceptable.

2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Dear government, Apple is not going to compromise the security of billions of people. Continue the good fight Apple and get that iPhone 7 because my body is ready.

7. willard12 unregistered

Well... not going to compromise anymore "Apple used to cooperate with requests to grab information off iPhones – they limited the scope of the data the police could recover, and they only allowed it to be done at their Cupertino HQ" - the guardian

19. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The Apple fanboy ain't gonna believe you no matter what you say.

21. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3938; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I don't think you got what he was saying, when he said "Dear government, Apple is not going to compromise the security of billions(sorry but this should have been millions not billions lol) of people" I'm pretty sure he was talking about not creating a custom version of iOS for the FBI to have full access to an iPhone anywhere in the world. I wouldn't call this "Apple used to cooperate with requests to grab information off iPhones – they limited the scope of the data the police could recover, and they only allowed it to be done at their Cupertino HQ", as compromising the security of millions of people.

28. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Get ready fanboy, you think this is gonna end here? Nope. Supreme Court, then court of justice. "my body is ready", lmao. Looks like even if the terrorist killed your mother by perpous, you still would side Apple.

29. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Dear FBI please kick Apple's butt. The government might fail, but not the fbi.

3. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Good judge

30. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Bad judge. Paid by Apple. If this was in calofonia, they wouldn't stand a chance. This case needs to be migrated to calofonia. Where justice is liberty.

5. aikoo

Posts: 129; Member since: Feb 27, 2016

So Apple's a first alternative to all and/or most criminal cases now?

25. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

No, it's just thta it's the only company the FBI can reasonably extort. Asian companies don't give a f**k about US laws, which makes Android far more secure in reality.

35. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

'more secure' said the OS that makes the most money off malware and data mining than any other OS ever....

8. willard12 unregistered

So, because the DOJ (FBI) was the plaintiff in this case, does that mean that everyone who spread conspiracy theories about the FBI controlling the judges in the Samsung case last week is an idiot?

12. Mrinal

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 28, 2016

FBI is just making fool of us. If they want they can unlock the phone without getting help of apple. I think FBI is just pretending that they haven't got any information from that iphone, but may be they have already unlocked it and got some information which they don't want to share in public, so FBI is playing this tricks to keep that secret. Its my view on this case, what u say guys?

16. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I quote: "If they want they can unlock the phone without getting help of apple. I think FBI is just pretending" That's the most preposterous thing I've heard in years, fine fellow... Why? Well go through the quoted text with an open mind and you will probably get my point... If not, then you've my utmost sympathy.... You're better than this, lad!

18. willard12 unregistered

If your hypothesis is correct, before now, why was the FBI going to Apple's headquarters to get them to unlock phones for them? At the time, it was a secret. So, there was no benefit from giving the public misinformation.

26. Mrinal

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 28, 2016

This is how FBI is playing with terrorists. Terrorists who are observing this case and who are actually involved in this must be thinking that there information is not revealed from iphone. For this reason FBI must have done this trick. Because FBI's main purpose is to tell terrorist about there incapability to unlock iphone(and terrorist involved in this must be knowing he was having iphone) not to public.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.