Brooklyn, NY, United States – The Justice Department has appealed the court ruling on New York City about unlocking an iPhone used for drug transactions.
A new judge is being asked to review the case and possibly reverse the earlier ruling.
Magistrate James Orenstein concluded that prosecutors lacked legal authority in order to force Apple Inc. to help investigators in the unlocking of an iPhone of a drug dealer.
This comes in the heels of Apple vs. the FBI, a case wherein the law enforcement authorities are ordering the tech giant to help them open the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook , who killed 14 and wounded 22 last December 2. The FBI argues that they just want the password to be disabled as ten wrong guesses for the passcode equate to data being erased. They believe that the phone has valuable information to close a time gap during the shooting.
In the New York case, prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie to review their case and grant them the court order that was denied by Orenstein . The federal prosecutors contest that the case does not upend the balance between privacy and security, which Apple has been pointing out in the FBI case.
Orenstein pointed out in the ruling last week that the Justice Department’s usage of the All Writs Act to force Apple to help open the smartphone was an “unconstitutional overreach.” However, the prosecutors argue that Orenstein overlooked the details about the drug case. Also, this Brooklyn case concerns an iPhone that is of an older operating system. They argue that this operating system has been used multiple times in the past to assist investigators.
This is not the first time that Apple has been asked to do such but they started resisting late last year to such efforts. Past efforts to have Apple help in investigations regarding iPhone or other Apple products have been approved by judges.
Fourth Estate Staff