Before the Paris terrorist attack, a New York Court ordered Apple to unlock their security on an iPhone – and then changed its mind and deferred the ruling. Then after a series of moves and counter moves the court ruled that the DOJ and Apple had to submit additional letters to the Judge regarding the Issue of Unlocking an iPhone 5s and that he would provide a final ruling as soon as he could. While the parties are awaiting the Judge's final ruling, Apple recently wrote a letter to the judge advising him that they're now being pressed by the government to open yet another iPhone and need a ruling in order to know how to proceed with this new case. The other iPhone may very well involve the San Bernardino terrorist's smartphone that was in the news this week.
Ars Technica reports that "In the Friday letter, Apple attorney Marc Zwillinger says that ruling now is important, as the government plans to make similar requests of Apple in the future."
The report notes that Zwillinger stated in the letter that "Apple takes no position on whether and to what extent information from the Apple device in the government's possession is relevant to any ongoing investigation, or necessary for the criminal defendant's sentencing. But Apple has received additional requests similar to the one underlying the case before this Court. Apple has also been advised that the government intends to continue to invoke the All Writs Act in this and other districts in an attempt to require Apple to assist in bypassing the security of other Apple devices in the government's possession."
There's no doubt that the judge's final ruling has been complicated by the terrorist attacks in Paris and around the world including the San Bernardino attack. Our report earlier this week covered the yin and yang of the battle that's ongoing in the US and around the world over end-to-end encryption on smartphones. And with 'Bill 1681' now going through the California legislature, the Judge is wise to wait until all of the facts are in – but the wait, no doubt, is weighing heavy on all parties involved.
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