Justice Department seeks Court Approval to Access iPhone in New York Drug Case


The U.S. Government has stepped up its battle with Apple, now with a drug case in New York. Echoing the recent FBI attempts to gain access over an iPhone linked with the San Bernardino case, the Justice Department has now called for similar measures to extract data.

Read more on FBI Hacks into San Bernardino iPhone without Apple Assistance

Since the push to unlock the iPhone, the argument to maintain a balance of privacy for customers and awarding the Government’s requests for access to any phone in the name of the law, has been debated.

In the New York case, Justice Department lawyers told U.S. District Court Judge Margo Brodie that “The Government continues to require Apple’s assistance in accessing the data that it is authorized to search by warrant.”

The New York drug case, which saw an iPhone confiscated by law enforcement agencies in 2014, has now had a request filed by the Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI seeking the Court’s approval to break into the iPhone belonging to a methamphetamine drug trafficker.

The U.S. Government is using the All Writs Act – a 1789 law, and the same one used in the San Bernardino case – to further their argument. The Act gives law enforcement a “wide latitude.”

The initial San Bernardino case was dropped earlier this year when the FBI claimed to have found alternative methods to hack into the iPhone in question. The announcement followed U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein’s ruling to side with Apple. “The relief the Government seeks is unavailable because Congress has considered legislation that would achieve the same result but has not adopted it,” he said.

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