NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Latest on to the legal battle between Apple and the Justice Department, which asked a judge to force the tech giant to reveal data from an iPhone linked to a New York City drug case (all times local):
The Justice Department says it has withdrawn a request to force Apple to reveal data from a cellphone linked to a New York drug case.
The government told a Brooklyn judge Friday night that someone provided the passcode to the iPhone.
Authorities had asked a judge for an order requiring Apple’s co-operation. Federal prosecutors say investigators gained access to the phone late Thursday night and no longer need Apple’s assistance.
The Justice Department previously dropped a legal fight to compel Apple to help it break into an iPhone used by a gunman in the December attack in San Bernardino that killed 14 people.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.
Law enforcement groups say they fear the public will stop aiding police if Apple is allowed to refuse to give up information from a drug dealer’s phone.
The groups filed papers in federal court in Brooklyn Thursday asking that a magistrate judge’s ruling for Apple be reversed.
The papers were filed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Association of Prosecutor Attorneys and the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.
The groups called Apple’s refusal to help get information from an iPhone in a Brooklyn drug case a dangerous precedent. They say it may lead people to think twice before co-operating with law enforcement.
Apple says authorities failed to show they exhausted other options before asking the Cupertino, California-based company to do investigative work for them.