Feds drop court battle with Apple after someone helps the agency unlock a meth dealer's iPhone 5s

Feds drop court battle with Apple after someone helps the agency unlock a meth dealer's iPhone 5s
The FBI has had two high profile cases in the last two months related to getting Apple to unlock a couple of iPhones. The Apple iPhone 5c belonging to deceased terrorist Syed Farook was finally opened by a third party, thus preventing a showdown between the government and Apple. Despite conflicting reports, it appears that the FBI did manage to learn something new from the information they obtained from the phone.

The second case involved an Apple iPhone 5s that belongs to admitted meth dealer Jun Feng, who swears that he doesn't remember the passcode on his device. Once again, the Feds sought a court order to demand that Apple unlock Feng's phone. And once again, a third party appeared to help the FBI unlock the phone in question. This time, it wasn't an expensive security outfit (one report claims that the FBI paid over $1 million to unlock Farook's phone), but an unnamed individual who approached the FBI with the passcode to the dealer's handset. It is unclear how this individual got the correct passcode. Did he know Feng? At this point,, until the FBI reveals more information, everything is conjecture including the rumor that it was Feng himself who provided the passcode to the government.

Late Thursday, the FBI tried the passcode and it worked. No longer needing Apple's assistance, on Friday the Feds dropped their demand that Apple unlock the phone, and another court battle was prematurely ended.

By withdrawing its case against Apple, the FBI is actually shooting itself in the foot. Without appearing in court, the FBI can't challenge a 50-page decision from a magistrate judge from a previous case. That decision states that the government does not have the legal authority to force companies like Apple to unlock its devices. The government was hoping to attack that ruling so that Apple and other tech firms couldn't cite it in any future court showdown.

source: WSJ

Related phones

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)

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16 Comments

1. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Good because all the back and forth was getting.

15. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Well, soon it will change Senates are working on pass the bill, make tech company create backdoor similar to the blackberry.

16. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Well, soon it will change Senates are working on pass the bill, make tech company create backdoor similar to the blackberry.

17. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

2. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I don't think they're shooting themselves in the foot, they're waiting until they know they can get the court of public opinion on their side. They want a slam dunk, not a protracted battle.

18. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Or they realize that every iPhone can be hacked quickly and conveniently. So why risk losing in court and setting a precedent that might even stop them from unlocking it themselves.

19. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I think we can both be correct on this one. It's a matter of timing.

3. MrMiyagi

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Soo these days anyone can just unlock an iphone, even randomly....that ain't right

6. KingSam

Posts: 1449; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Not anyone. I'm pretty sure the average person won't spend huge sums of money to unlock someone else's iPhone. And for those who will cause of being a isheep. I'm strictly Android.

10. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

It's always a necessity to pay up to unlock someone' iPhone.

11. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Edit: It's NOT always a necessity for ME to pay up to unlock someone' iPhone. So your statement isn't accurate to everyone.

5. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Too much drama.

7. vliang86

Posts: 337; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Sounds like a Soap Opera to me....grab popcorn

8. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Good guy Apple. Protecting terrorists and criminals for the good of mankind.

14. engineer-1701d unregistered

Looks like there will be a new department in the fbi soon for phone hackers

20. TBomb

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

seems iPhone hacking has become a viable career

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