UPDATE: Apple has issued an official statement on the government's decision to drop its case, saying that "this case should never have been brought." The company goes on to say it will continue to help law enforcement with its investigations and that it'll continue to beef up the security of its products “as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.” Apple's full statement can be read right here.
After lots of back and forth, the situation involving Apple, the US government, and a San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone is coming to an end.
The US government today revealed that it has gotten into the iPhone 5C that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. The government doesn’t give any details in its filing, saying only that it “has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone” and no longer needs Apple’s help.
The FBI originally asked for Apple’s help in accessing the iPhone 5C back in February, requesting that Apple build software that would disable the feature that would erase the phone after too many failed password attempts. Apple opposed the order, saying that the “GovtOS” could end up being used repeatedly or fall into the wrong hands, despite the government’s insistence that the tool would only be used once.
After some back and forth, the government called off its hearing with Apple last week because it said that an “outside party” said that it could help the FBI access Farook’s iPhone. And now it looks like the government was successful. The name of the outside party that offered to help the government hasn’t been revealed.
It’s kind of crazy that this whole battle is coming to an end like this, especially considering some of the things that the two parties said previously. For example, at one point the government suggested that Apple was opposing the order “based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy.” What will be interesting is seeing what, if anything, Apple has to say about today’s news. There’s been no comment yet, but I’ll be sure to update you if that changes.