By Allan Lengel
The Justice Department on Monday asked for a delay of a court hearing in its battle with Apple over the encryption of an iPhone from San Bernardino shooting, saying it may have found a way to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.
In a motion filed Monday in federal court in Central California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles wrote:
Since the attacks in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has continued to pursue all avenues available to discover all relevant evidence related to the attacks.
Specifically, since recovering Farook’s iPhone on December 3, 2015, the FBI has
continued to research methods to gain access to the data stored on it. The FBI did not cease its efforts after this litigation began. As the FBI continued to conduct its own research, and as a result of the worldwide publicity and attention on this case, others outside the U.S. government have continued to contact the U.S. government offering avenues of possible research.
On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible
method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is
viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.