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FBI Cracks San Bernardino iPhone, Moves To End Case Against Apple

The Federal Bureau of Investigation claimed Monday that it successfully gained access to the iPhone used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino shooting without the help of Apple Inc.

While the agency has not revealed the method it used or if any data was retrieved from the phone, it reportedly released a statement claiming that it is now “reviewing the information on the iPhone.” 

“The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016,” prosecutors wrote in a filing dated March 28.

The Associated Press noted that “withdrawal of the court process also takes away Apple’s ability to legally request details on the method the FBI used in this case.”

After U.S. magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ruled in February that Apple must comply with the FBI by building software that would allow the agency to break the iPhone’s encryption, the agency requested a motion to vacate the hearing the night before it was scheduled. 

[RELATED: FBI Claims It Has Found ‘Outside Party’ To Break Into iPhone in San Bernardino Case] 

The FBI’s filing, which was approved by Judge Pym on March 21, named an unknown “outside party” and proposed that to make time for testing to determine “whether it is a viable method,” the government should have until April 5 to submit a status report. 

Apple also released a statement, criticizing the FBI’s initial demand and saying that the case should never have been brought.”

[pull_quote_center]From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought. We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.[/pull_quote_center]

The statement went on to say that the company believes that people in the U.S. and around the world “deserve data protection, security and privacy,” and that “sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.”

“This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy,” the tech company concluded. “Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.”

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