Apple Inc. (AAPL) Asks Court to Delay Briefing on DOJ’s Appeal over iPhone in Brooklyn Case

iPhone Encryption

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) requested the federal court in Brooklyn, New York to delay the briefing on the appeal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on a ruling that protects the company from unlocking the iPhone owned by a drug dealer.

Last month, Apple won the legal case against the U.S. government after U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein of the Eastern District of New York ruled that the tech giant doesn’t have to help prosecutors unlock the iPhone in the drug case.

Judge Orenstein also stated that the government’s demand on Apple was excessive and impractical. However, he explained that his ruling was not a decision “whether the government should be able to force Apple to help it unlock a specific device; it is instead whether the All Writs Act resolves that issue and many others like it yet to come.”

The DOJ was disappointed and submitted an appeal on the court’s ruling on February 29.

Gov’t is testing a new method to unlock iPhone in San Bernardino

Apple made the request to delay the briefing on the DOJ’s appeal in the Brooklyn case after the DOJ disclosed that a non-governmental third-party presented a new technique to open the iPhone in the San Bernardino case.

U.S. prosecutors said they were cautiously optimistic that the new method would work. They requested the court to postpone a hearing on the case compelling Apple to unlock the iPhone owned by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino mass shooting.

In a letter to the court to the federal court in Brooklyn, Apple said the government may no longer need its assistance to open the iPhone if the new method being tested in the San Bernardino case would also work in the drug case.

“On the other hand, if the DOJ claims that the method will not work on the iPhone here, Apple will seek to test that claim, as well as any claims by the government that other methods cannot be used,” according to the tech giant.

The iPhones in the Brooklyn case and San Bernardino case have different operating systems, iOS 7 and iOS 9 respectively.  The encryption technology protecting the devices is not the same.