A judge order for Apple to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation is on hold indefinitely. On Monday afternoon, the federal lawyers asked a judge to cancel a hearing scheduled for Tuesday regarding the case of Apple to assist the government in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino’s shooters.
Hours later, the request was granted by Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym. The canceled hearing was heavily anticipated and was supposed to cover arguments briefed over the past month between Apple and the Justice Department along with a host of other parties. Pym had ordered that the company should help the federal government to unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack.
The order was granted under the All Writs Act indefinitely given the “present uncertainty surrounding the government’s need for Apple’s assistance.” Apart from cancelling the hearing, Pym stayed the order, notes Buzzfeed.
Amidst the arguments, the government told the court that they may not require Apple’s assistance as an outside party has demonstrated a possible method for unlocking the phone to the FBI. The government would provide an update to Pym by April 5, notes Bloomberg.
A law enforcement official told reporters that several outside parties came to the FBI on Sunday and also many other parties contacted the FBI with avenues of research given the publicity of the case. However, the law enforcement official would not reveal the identity of the outside party whether they are from domestic or foreign but would only confirm saying that they were from outside the government.
To counter the government’s move, Apple attorney told reporters that if the government can get into the phone without Apple’s help, the company would bring up the case as the Justice Department presented to the court.
However, the government’s filing and congressional testimony say that government needs Apple’s assistance as crucial to recovering additional date from the iPhone. On the contrary, Apple’s lawyers note that they were never given any indication regarding the government was continuing its efforts to access the phone without Apple’s help.