Back in February, a judge ruled that the government couldn’t force Apple to help it access an iPhone that belonged to a New York drug smuggler. The government decided to appeal, and today it issued a filing affirming its intentions.
The US government today submitted a filing that confirms that it plans to continue its quest to get Apple to help it into the NY drug smuggler’s iPhone. “The government’s application is not moot,” the filing reads, “and the government continues to require Apple’s assistance in accessing the data that it is authorized to search by warrant.”
The FBI recently purchased a tool from a third-party that it used to unlock an iPhone 5c belonging to a San Bernardino shooter, but FBI Director James Comey recently revealed that the tool only works on iPhone 5c models running iOS 9. The iPhone in this NY drug smuggler case is an iPhone 5s, which means that the FBI’s tool won’t work.
The government previously argued that Apple should help unlock this iPhone 5s by invoking the All Writs Act, but a judge said that the government’s argument didn’t meet the thresholds needed for the All Writs Act to be used. The judge went on to say that the government’s interpretation of the All Wrist Act was so expansive that, if it were accepted, it could be considered unconstitutional. That’s a pretty strong argument from the judge, but apparently the government feels that it’s still got a case, so it’s going to take this battle to appeals court.