Department of Justice Appeals New York Court Order In Favor of Apple

The U.S Department of Justice has filed a plea against an order by a court in New York that turned down its request for compelling Apple to extract data from an alleged drug dealer’s iPhone 5s.

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Image courtesy: wisegeek

This case does seem to have an impact on the high-profile case in California where Apple is standing against an order asking it to assist the FBI in unlocking an iPhone running iOS 9 which was used by a Terrorist in the San Bernardino killings on Dec 2. FBI is afraid of auto-erase feature on the phone, which would erase all data after 10 unsuccessful tries of the passcode.

The case here in the New York court too is pretty similar, only the iOS version is 7. The DOJ argues the same risk of losing all the data if it reaches the passcode limit. DOJ also says Apple helped unlocking dozen of devices in the past at the request of government. For versions of the operating system that predate iOS 8, Apple has the capability to bypass the passcode feature and access the contents of the phone that were unencrypted, it wrote in the filing.

But, Apple is citing Privacy and Safety issues in both the matters now. The government claims Apple made a U-turn in the particular instance, having first agreed to extract the data

James Orenstein, Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently ordered in favor of Apple saying the company can’t be forced into extracting data from an iPhone.

The DOJ is now appealing against this order by the Magistrate Judge and asking the court to review it.

“Judge Orenstein ruled the FBI’s request would ‘thoroughly undermine fundamental principles of the Constitution’ and we agree,” Apple said in a statement on the new filing by the DOJ.