Update #2: Apple has responded to the latest filing from the Department of Justice saying that if the government is unable to succeed in unlocking the device on its own, Apple will demand to know everything about the method by which it tried.
Update: The judge has granted the DOJ’s motion to vacate the hearing.
Apple was set to face off against the FBI in court tomorrow regarding its refusal to unlock the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen. Now, however, the government has moved to vacate tomorrow’s hearing, saying that it has found an outside method with which to unlock the iPhone.
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
According to filing just made by the Department of Justice, it was demonstrated a method that would not require Apple’s assistance to unlock the iPhone in question (via Politico):
“On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.”
The filing went on to ask that “the hearing set for March 22, 2016” be vacated.
The filing explains that since the attacks on December 2nd, the FBI has been researching various methods by which it could unlock the iPhone 5c. Since the case against Apple was made public, the FBI says that it has been approached by outside sources with suggestions as to how to unlock the device, hence its request to cancel the hearing scheduled for tomorrow.
Apple has yet to respond to the filing, but it should be interesting considering we’ve seen people claim in that past that they would be able to unlock the iPhone 5c. Earlier today, Apple talked about its battle with the FBI during a press event where it unveiled the new iPhone SE and iPad Pro, explaining that its duty as a company to protect user data.
Below is a separate comment from the DOJ on the case:
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