Justice Department Appeals Court Ruling On New York iPhone Encryption, Asks Judge To Review Case
Mar 08, 2016 01:09 AM EST
The Justice Department has appealed the court ruling on New York City about unlocking an iPhone used for drug transactions. The judge, a new one handling the case, is being asked to review the case and possibly reverse the ruling given earlier.
Magistrate James Orenstein concluded that prosecutors lacked legal authority in order to force Apple Inc. to help investigators in the unlocking of an iPhone of a drug dealer, The Wall Street Journal reported.
This comes in the heels of Apple vs. the FBI, a case wherein law enforcement authorities are ordering the tech giant to help unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook, who killed 14 and wounded 22 last December 2, CNET reported. The FBI argues that they just want the password to be disabled as ten wrong guesses for the passcode equate to data being erased. They believe that the phone has valuable information to close a time gap during the shooting.
In the New York case, prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie to review their case and grant them the court order that was denied by Orenstein. The federal prosecutors contest that the case does not upend the balance between privacy and security, which Apple has been pointing out in the FBI case.
Orenstein pointed out in the ruling last week that the Justice Department's usage of the All Writs Act to force Apple to help open the smartphone was an "unconstitutional overreach." However, the prosecutors argue that Orenstein overlooked the details about the drug case. Also, this Brooklyn case concerns an iPhone that is of an older operating system. They argue that this operating system has been used multiple times in the past to assist investigators, Fox News reported.
This is not the first time that Apple has been asked to do such but they started resisting late last year. Past efforts to have Apple help in investigations regarding iPhone or other Apple products have been approved by judges.