The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a last minute Motion to Vacate today’s hearing regarding the San Bernardino terrorist’s encrypted iPhone. The DOJ previously sought Apple’s assistance to modify the iPhone’s software, weakening the mobile phone’s security features, in order to gain access to the information stored on it. The DOJ’s request sparked a renewed debate over government access to encrypted data.
When Apple rejected the DOJ’s request, the government proposed an “alternative” course of action would be to request “the [iPhone’s] source code and Apple’s private electronic signature” so it could modify the mobile phone’s software itself. But, it seems that the DOJ has now backed off their position.
The DOJ’s Motion indicates that the FBI has teamed up with an “outside party” to garner access to the data stored on the mobile phone. This unnamed party supposedly has the ability to defeat the iPhone’s encryption without compromising the data contained within.