DOJ Turns to Higher Court to Reverse Ruling of Seized iPhone in NY Drug Case

This may be an expected turn of events in the light of the ongoing legal saga between Apple and the FBI over unlocking an iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters: The US Justice Department is asking the judge to overturn a ruling protecting Apple from unlocking an iPhone in a New York drug case, reports Reuters.

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US Magistrate Judge James Orenstein said in Brooklyn last week that he didn’t have the legal authority to force Apple to unlock the iPhone seized in the New York drug case. Apple welcomes Orenstein’s ruling, saying that the DOJ’s request would “thoroughly undermine fundamental principles of the Constitution.”

Now, prosecutors have resubmitted their arguments to a higher court, using the same All Writs Act used in California when ordering Apple to develop the software the company calls “GovtOS” to weaken the security of iOS for law enforcement agencies to unlock the iPhone 5c without losing the data.

Also, the prosecutors are arguing that the iPhone seized in the NY drug case runs an older version of iOS (iOS 7) which Apple has previously agreed to crack.

By the way, the owner of the iPhone, Jun Feng, has since pleaded guilty to participation in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. The DOJ is seeking to unlock the device to find other conspirators.

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