The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed a ruling by a New York court that protects Apple from unlocking an iPhone connected to a drug case.

New York Federal Judge James Orenstein ruled that the government lacks clear legal authority to order the Cupertino-based company to bypass the lock of an iPhone 5s, which was owned by alleged drug trafficker Jun Feng.

The drug case in New York is separate from the case in San Bernardino, California involving the iPhone 5c of Syed Farook. However, the Orenstein's ruling may help Apple in its argument that it doesn't need to follow the court order that it should help the Federal Bureau of Investigation in breaking into the shooter's phone.

On Monday, the Justice Department resubmitted its arguments to a higher judge who oversees this matter.

In its filing, the DOJ argued that the California ruling is an evidence that the All Writs Act of 1789 has been used to force the iPhone maker to bypass the phones. Moreover, it said that the iPhone associated with the New York case runs an older mobile operating system that the company has agreed to hack quite a few times in earlier cases.

Unlike the iPhone involved in the San Bernardino case, which runs iOS 9, Feng's iPhone had the iOS 7. This earlier OS version is not protected under similar encryption technology.

The government asked District Court Judge Margo Brodie to review the ruling by Orenstein.

"Apple has the technological capability to bypass the passcode feature and access the contents of the phone that were unencrypted," reads the filing.

In Apple's recent statement in response to the ruling by the New York court, it said that it agrees with the decision of judge Orenstein that the FBI's request would "thoroughly undermine fundamental principles of the constitution."

Earlier, Apple said the government's demand to hack into the iPhone of Farook is going to create a "back door" into every iPhone. Apple boss Tim Cook also previously stated that if the company will give in to the demand of the government, it would set a "dangerous precedent."

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