SAN BERNARDINO– The government has asked a United States Magistrate Judge in Riverside, California to vacate the order that would have compelled Apple to assist the FBI in unlocking the iPhone 5C that was used in the San Bernardino terrorist attack last year. With the recent assistance of a third party, the Department of Justice is now able to unlock that phone without compromising any information on the device.
Government officials had sought an order compelling Apple to help unlock the phone of terrorist Syed Farook, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015. The DOJ wanted Apple to help the FBI unlock the phone by building a new version of iOS that would have bypassed iPhone passcode restrictions. Apple had steadfastly refused to comply with the court order, saying that it would set a dangerous precedent for future device security.
United States Attorney Eileen Decker released the following statement, “We sought an order compelling Apple to help unlock the phone to fulfill a solemn commitment to the victims of the San Bernardino shooting – that we will not rest until we have fully pursued every investigative lead related to the vicious attack. Although this step in the investigation is now complete, we will continue to explore every lead, and seek any appropriate legal process, to ensure our investigation collects all of the evidence related to this terrorist attack. The San Bernardino victims deserve nothing less.”