The long court battle between Apple and the FBI has come to a close officially. The U.S. Government is now saying that they have accessed the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter. They have officially dropped their case against Apple, as they have been able to gain access to the device, without the need of Apple’s help in making a new software tool.
The court filing states that “the FBI has now successfully retrieved the data stored on the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple required by this Court Order”. In a not so surprising move, the FBI did not state how they gained access to the device. They are saying that this method was demonstrated to law enforcement on March 20th, which was just a day before Apple’s March 2016 event and just a few days when the court case was supposed to begin.
This is a quick ending to the case, Apple is now officially out of the hot seat and will no longer have to appear in court. However, what likely isn’t finished is the topic of encryption. This will likely be a long discussion that will continue to happen on both sides, this means Apple will have stuff to say and as will the U.S. Government. The Department of Justice has stated that it remains a priority for them to be able to get access to information in order to protect national security and public safety.
It will be interesting to see how talks on encryption will continue and in which direction they might go in. You can see the full order to vacate below.