Apple is generally used to being in the news for developing and releasing extremely exciting and powerful hardware and software products. Attention over the last few months however has been laser-focused on Apple’s battle with the U.S. Department of Justice over an encrypted iPhone 5c belonging to one of San Bernardino shooters.

The path away from this ongoing encryption battle seemed to be extremely clear and free of obstruction after the FBI decided to stop pursuing Apple through the legal system in the San Bernardino case because they successfully got it unlocked with the help of a third-party. However, it’s recently become public knowledge that the United States government would continue on in pursuit of Apple as part of an attempt to unlock an iPhone 5s that’s deemed important in a drugs-related case in New York. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but Apple has once again refused to entertain that request in order to protect privacy of its customers.

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As part of an official filing to U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie, Apple is essentially stating that it refuses to do the job of law enforcement agencies until they have demonstrated that all alternative options have been explored and exhausted.

The government has utterly failed to demonstrate that the requested order is necessary to effectuate the search warrant, including that it exhausted all other avenues for recovering the information it seeks. Before the government demands that Apple do the work of law enforcement, the government must offer evidence that it has performed an ‘exhaustive search’ and that it remains unable to obtain the data it seeks without Apple’s assistance.

In this particular instance, the FBI is looking to access and potentially pull data from an Apple iPhone 5s belonging to Brooklyn drug dealer Jun Feng. The phone in this instance is allegedly running iOS 7 which the FBI believes Apple can easily get into. The case itself dates back to October of last year, with the FBI already hitting stumbling blocks in the pursuit of Apple’s help when a judge ruled in February that the agency lacked the legal authority to force Apple to brute force access the iPhone 5s in question.

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It’s likely that this one, like the San Bernardino case, will take multiple twists and turns before it’s resolved.

(Source: WSJ)

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