The high-profile public and legal dispute between the government and Apple is officially over after the FBI managed to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists without Apple’s help.
The Justice Department says it has successfully retrieved the data from the phone and is asking the court to vacate its order for Apple’s assistance.
“Our decision to conclude the litigation was based solely on the fact that, with the recent assistance of a third party, we are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement, adding that the investigation will continue to ensure that all of the evidence related to this terrorist attack is collected.
The government is not saying exactly what data were found on the phone. DOJ spokeswoman Melanie Newman says the FBI is currently reviewing the information on the phone, consistent with standard investigatory procedures.
This means it took FBI experts about a week to test the third-party tool that allowed them to crack the iPhone passcode. For weeks, the FBI had said only Apple could help investigators lift the iPhone security features that stood in the way of its guessing the passcode. But last week, the government said a third party showed the FBI a new method that didn’t require Apple’s help