The DOJ and Apple Must Submit Additional Letters to the Judge Tomorrow regarding the Issue of Unlocking an iPhone 5s
On October 10 we were the first in the Apple blogosphere to report that a New York Court ordered Apple to unlock their Security on an iPhone with the judge then deferring his ruling until he heard from Apple. On October 20 Apple legal urged the court to not require it to comply with the DOJ's request to unlock the iPhone in question. Then on October 23 the DOJ fired back claiming that Apple had worked with them in the past and so this shouldn't have been anything surprising. In addition, the iPhone model was an iPhone 5s that Apple should be able to unlock. So how will the judge rule on this? While it can't be guaranteed how the judge will rule, the BBC reported today that the Judge expressed doubt that he had the authority to force Apple to comply.
Judge James Orenstein told the DOJ that "What you're asking [Apple] to do is do work for you." And he compared the request to a hypothetical one in which the government was asking him to order a drug company to take part in an execution against its conscientious objection.
The DOJ wasn't happy with that position of the judge saying it was somewhat inflammatory – with the Judge firing back, "Purposely so."
The judge pressed Apple's lawyer, Marc Zwillinger, to explain the company's change of heart. Mr. Zwillinger responded by stating that the company had become more concerned about customer data in light of recent high-profile data breaches.
The judge asked both sides to submit additional letters addressing his questions to the court by tomorrow and said he would rule as soon as he could. The Judge is fully aware that the DOJ needs this resolved as soon as possible as their case against the drug dealer with this iPhone begins on November nineteenth.
Being that this is before the court, it's highly unlikely that Apple will respond to any questions about this matter during their Financial Conference Call Q&A later today.