Apple Fights U.S. Government’s Demand to Unlock iPhone in New York Case


In a new filing entered today by Apple in its legal dispute with the FBI over a locked iPhone in New York, the company says the agency “has made no showing that it has exhausted alternative means for extracting data from the iPhone at issue here.”

The company points to the San Bernardino case, where “the government ultimately abandoned its request after claiming that a third party could bypass [security] features without Apple’s assistance.”

The fact that the FBI has not demonstrated that it “attempted the method that worked on the iPhone running iOS 9, consulted the third party that assisted with that phone, or consulted other third parties” should be enough to dismiss a new court submission from the FBI, Apple argues, as the agency still hasn’t proven that it needs the company’s assistance to access data on the phone.

The filing from Apple comes as the FBI has continued to fight a February ruling on the New York case that found the All Writs Act could not be used to force Apple to assist the agency. Since then, the FBI has dropped its San Bernardino case after finding a new way into that iPhone. Although the two cases are similar, the New York case focuses on a phone running iOS 7, which Apple has the ability to extract unencrypted data from.

That sets it apart somewhat from the San Bernardino case, where the FBI requested Apple build new software to access a phone.

In today’s filing, Apple also goes over some arguments it has used before in its disputes with the FBI. Generally, it argues once again that the agency is using an overly broad interpretation of the All Writs Act to compel the company’s assistance in extracting data from the phone.

[via Reuters]