At the proverbial eleventh hour yesterday, federal prosecutors asked a Riverside judge to postpone today’s hearing pitting the federal government against Apple Inc. due to a new hack that might unlock a San Bernardino attacker's iPhone without Apple's help.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice says an outside party showed the FBI a new method. Apple says it has no idea what that is. Apple and federal attorneys were set to argue in court today about whether developers should be ordered to write software that could unlock the iPhone. The DOJ must report back in two weeks on its progress.
Technology experts have been arguing over possible hacks to extract data and/or crack the phone’s passcode.
If the hack does not work, the hotly disputed court case could end up at the Supreme Court and set a precedent with broad implications for national security and the reach of law enforcement, as well as the privacy of troves of personal information kept on digital devices.
With files from the Associated Press.
Joel Rubin, Reporter covering federal courts for the Los Angeles Times
Kim Zetter , Senior staff writer, "Wired"; Author, "Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon"