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FBI to Apple: iPhone Hack No Longer Needed, Hearing Cancelled

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The FBI says it may have found another way into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c—without the need for Apple’s help, according to a filing this afternoon (via Engadget):

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possiblemethod for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is available 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 forthin the All Writs Act Order in this case.

The government did not identify the party that was reportedly capable of hacking the iPhone, only to say it was not part of the government. If this alternative method does not work, most likely both groups will make their way into court in the future to present their case on why the iPhone should or should not be unlocked.

Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym has reviewed the Department of Justice’s application, and agreed tomorrow’s highly anticipated court showdown should be vacated. The government will now file a status report of their alternative hack by April 5, 2016.

One of Apple’s recent court filings stated the country’s founders “would be appalled” at the government’s request to force the company to create a unique version of iOS with weaker encryption, or essentially the software equivalent of cancer, according to CEO Tim Cook.

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