Days after the FBI announced that it had successfully unlocked the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen last December without Apple’s help, the Associated Press now reports that the FBI has agreed to help unlock another iPhone and an iPod relating to a homicide case in Arkansas.
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According to the report, the FBI has agreed to help an Arkansas prosecutor unlock an iPhone and iPod used by two teenagers who have been accused of killing a couple. A judge yesterday agreed to postpone the trial so prosecutors could seek help unlocking the iOS devices. The two teenagers have both pleaded not guilty to the murder.
Specific details are unclear at this point in the Arkansas case. The FBI has not confirmed if the two iOS devices in this case are in any way the same to the iPhone 5c that was successfully unlocked earlier this week or if it will even be using the same method to attempt to unlock the two devices. On Monday, it was reported that the method used by the FBI in the San Bernardino case was only applicable to that one phone, but now it is looking like that might not be the case.
Prosecutors in the Arkansas case have had possession of the iPhone in question since July of last year, but have not gained access. The lawyer of one of the teenagers says that they’re “not concerned about anything on that phone” after being informed of plans to try to gain access to its contents. Furthermore, the other teen in the case is said to have used the iPod to communicate plans relating to the homicide and that their may be evidence on the device.
Given how vocal Apple has been about protecting user data, it’ll be interesting to see how this case plays out and if the FBI is once again able to unlock two different iOS devices without help from the company. But if the devices are entirely different from the iPhone 5c in the San Bernardino case, it could paint an even worse picture for Apple.