There's a twist in the Apple Inc. versus the U.S. Department of Justice standoff. The FBI may have successfully unlocked the iPhone 5c that was at the heart of the San Bernardino shooting case and reason for the dispute, but the Justice Department is still not satisfied.
On April 8, the Justice Department revealed that it would continue the fight to compel Apple to open another iPhone, this time an iPhone 5s related to the New York drug case reported last month. The Justice Department's efforts have stirred up plenty of debate and controversy as it continues to force not only Apple but other tech companies as well to aid law enforcement authorities evade encryption.
Earlier in April, the Justice Department dropped its efforts to arm-twist Apple to crack open the iPhone deployed by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attacks in December. The government had revealed that it had succeeded in unlocking the handset sans any help from Apple.
After a complex legal battle, the FBI had announced last month that it no longer required Apple's assistance to crack open the iPhone, as it had found a way of doing so. The FBI had enlisted the help of a third party to unlock the iPhone 5c. As a result, the court suspended the encryption hearing.
While several observers were of the belief that this was a sign that the government would finally back off from the case and stop pursuing Apple, a letter filed at a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, reveals that it has other plans.
"The government's application is not moot and the government continues to require Apple's assistance in accessing the data that it is authorized to search by warrant," notes the filing.
An attorney for Apple revealed that while the Cupertino-based company was saddened by the government's move, it was not surprised that the Justice Department plans to continue the fight in New York despite conceding in the California court.
The lawyer also stated that the Justice Department's appeal contradicted the FBI's assertions that the case was only about a single handset and the desire to thwart such attacks in the future.
Apple is slated to file court papers opposing the appeal made by the Justice Department by April 15.