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US Department of Justice still wants Apple’s help unlocking iPhones

Over the last few weeks, Apple and the FBI have been butting heads over the unlocking of an iPhone 5c owned by a criminal. So far, Apple has refused to create a back door into its software for the authorities and while the FBI did eventually find another way into its iPhone and offered to assist other agencies with accessing certain iPhones, this technique apparently only works on models that don’t sport Touch ID.

Due to this, the US Department of Justice still requires accessing an iPhone 5S, which was apparently owned by someone involved in drug trafficking. This case is open in New York, with Attorneys submitting a filing showing that they want to move forward with a legal effort to have Apple unlock the iPhone.

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The filing (via VentureBeat) specifically says: “The government’s application is not moot and the government continues to require Apple’s assistance in accessing the data that it is authorized to search by warrant”. This also seems to lend some validity to the FBI’s admission that its current iPhone hacking method only works on the iPhone 5c or lower.

At the time of writing, Apple has not responded to the latest legal movement. However, Tim Cook seems pretty set on fighting against court orders forcing Apple to unlock the iPhone so perhaps we will hear more in the next few days.

KitGuru Says: Legal agencies over in the US don’t seem to be giving up on attempts to force Apple to help unlock the iPhone any time soon. The FBI may have managed to get into the iPhone it had but other agencies across the US may be out of luck without direct help. It will be interesting to see how Apple continues to respond to these on-going legal proceedings. Do you guys think Apple should be open to helping the authorities access iPhones owned by criminals? 

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