FBI Cracks San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone

CREDIT: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File

The FBI has hacked into an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, ending a tense legal battle between Apple and the government, the Washington Post reported.

Prosecutors for the FBI moved to vacate their complaint against Apple, citing that the agency accessed the iPhone’s data, according to court documents filed Monday.

“The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on [Syed Rizwan] Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016,” the filing stated.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California subsequently dismissed the FBI’s original court order after reviewing the government’s latest status report.

The government’s request that Apple circumvent the security processes on its devices raised numerous privacy concerns, especially that doing so would set a dangerous precedent.

The legal showdown between Apple and the FBI that began in February reconstituted debate around widespread encryption use and its effect on law enforcement investigations.

Apple contended that the FBI could not constitutionally force it to comply with a court order.

The heated back and forth highlighted several challenges around technology and security, with both the FBI and Apple pleading with Congress to come up with a legislative remedy.

This post has been updated.