The FBI has managed to unlock the iPhone of terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook without the tech giant’s assistance, the US justice department has announced.
Tim Cook and executives at the Californian tech company had been at loggerheads with the federal government after electing not to help it break into the phone of the gunman, fearing the creation a ‘master key’ would jeopardise data protection for its millions of customers.
However, after seemingly using a third party to decrypt the phone, the feds have now withdrawn the court order issued last month requiring Apple to write new software to allow officials to access Syed Rizwan Farook's phone.
Here’s Apples response to the latest development:
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.
Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. 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. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.
Next up for Apple: speaking to the government in the hopes of finding out how they broke in to the phone so they can fix the security flaw which allowed investigators access.
But then given all the animosity which has gone before, this saga might rumble on yet.