Newspaper article International New York Times

The iPhone Stays Locked, for Now

Newspaper article International New York Times

The iPhone Stays Locked, for Now

Article excerpt

A federal judge argues persuasively in a drug case that Apple should not have to help the government gain access to data.

The Justice Department has argued that Apple has a legal responsibility to help the government unlock iPhones that may contain evidence needed in criminal investigations. A federal judge in Brooklyn argues, persuasively, that the company is not obligated to do so.

In an order on Monday, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein rejected an effort by the Justice Department to force Apple to help it unlock an iPhone used by a Queens resident who has pleaded guilty to drug charges. The case raises some of the same issues before a federal court in California where the government wants Apple to remove an impediment to unlocking an iPhone that was used by one of the attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino. Apple is challenging a decision by the judge that it do so; a hearing is scheduled for March 22.

In the New York case, Judge Orenstein rejected the government's argument that the All Writs Act of 1789 can be used to compel people and businesses that are not involved in a crime to help the government unearth evidence in situations like this. …

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