Well this certainly is interesting. According to Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the government moved to vacate tomorrow's scheduled hearing in the ongoing Apple versus the FBI encryption case. You know, the one making headlines around the world as the tech giant continues to refuse to build what they claim to be a backdoor into their flagship product. The reason? The FBI apparently just learned how to open the iPhone all by itself.
The government just moved to vacate tomorrow's hearing in Apple v FBI. Seems they're abandoning this as a test case! pic.twitter.com/trZbwXoJvy— Nate Cardozo (@ncardozo) March 21, 2016
Politico further confirms that, although further testing is apparently required to be sure, the government appears pretty sure they can open the government-owned work phone used by San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. The publication notes that the government's request was granted, thus delaying the hearing until an unknown future date.
"On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking [terrorist Syed] Farook’s iPhone," Politico reports federal prosecutors as saying in an afternoon filing today. "Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case."
No word on yet this means for the case overall. Meanwhile, the chief technologist for the ACLU, Christopher Soghoian, is wondering what we're all wondering.
Was the "outside party" NSA, the CIA, a defense contractor, or some other entity? pic.twitter.com/zS1Kta27CB— Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) March 21, 2016
This post has been updated to note that the government was granted its request to vacate tomorrow's hearing.
Previously: Key Apple Engineers Suggest They'll Quit If Feds Force Them To Unlock iPhone