FBI Cracks San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone, Drops Suit Against Apple

By Sameer Rao Mar 29, 2016

We reported earlier this month on a letter—co-signed by prominent activists including Shaun King and Black Lives Matter co-creator Opal Tometi—that supported Apple’s fight against an FBI lawsuit that would have forced the tech giant to decrypt an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers. That lawsuit is kaput—for now. 

An anonymous federal law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times that the agency made a breakthrough last weekend, unearthing the phone’s stored material without damaging its contents with the help of an unnamed third party. The official declined to elaborate on how they managed to navigate Apple’s various security measures. Federal authorities then dropped the lawsuit against Apple yesterday (March 28).

As the Los Angeles Times notes, the dropped suit still doesn’t resolve core issues about privacy and under what conditions corporations must work with federal authorities. Apple issued its own response yesterday evening, saying, "This case should never have been brought," but it "raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties and our collective security and privacy."

(H/t Los Angeles Times, The Verge)