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

39. tokuzumi

Posts: 2024; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Faith in humanity partially restored.

31. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Tim Cook is desperately trying to turn this into his legacy. Anything not to be remembered for the absolute disaster that is the Apple Watch...

15. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

iPhones, not just for teenaged girls, old people and simple people anymore. Criminals will now get benefits from the iPhone.

14. GreenMan

Posts: 2704; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Ah! Drug dealers and potential mass murderers ought to use dumb phones... Just saying! My ancient Nokia 3310 is probably the most secure phone in the world! Or at least that what I believe!

24. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

My BlackBerry Passport may have something to say

43. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It says get a better phone.

44. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

awwww! of course! it makes absolute sense that someone who doesn't even own one to make judgements on it! But tell me, what else does it say? I stand by what I said, did you at one point use a BlackBerry as a vibrator and hurt your clitoris?

38. Mrinal

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 28, 2016

I think you don't even knw that in 3310 you can't even see images. And this kind of phones can't be productive for them..... Lol man, Lol on your statement.....

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: 2704; 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.

36. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Oddly that would make sense. I highly highly doubt they don't have the ability to data sniff the devices. But setting precedent in public court is huge. Your theory would seem a good way to go, we would need to assume that yes they can get the info, and already have. Then go into a legal battle with Apple, in which they are planning to loose. During this process, Apple gets amazing press, people put faith back into technology companies. All the while their data can be accessed. Criminals see this, believe that their info is safe. A month later, there is a bullet in the head of a bad guy from some sniper a mile away who's location was given because they were using a device they believed is secure.

37. Mrinal

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 28, 2016

Yes man, This is what i was trying to convey.

40. willard12 unregistered

This case is about data, not locating someone a mile away to shoot them with a sniper rifle. In order to get data from a device, they actually have to have the device in their possession. They obtain the device after receiving a search warrant from a judge, and get the phone from a criminal/terrorist who has a lawyer to fight against the seizure of the phone. The criminal/terrorist has to physically turn their phone over to the government or have it seized. In which case, there is no secret. I have no clue what either of you are talking about. Maybe it's just me.

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?

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....

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.

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: 3951; 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.

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?

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.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless