Just one day before the government was set to meet Apple in court to determine whether Apple could be forced to unlock an encrypted iPhone used by terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook.. the government is saying “Nevermind (for now)!”
Because they might’ve found their own way in.
In a filing submitted this afternoon , the government writes:
“On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farooks 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 assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.
Accordingly, to provide time for testing the method, the government hereby requests that the hearing set for March 22, 2016 be vacated. The government proposes filing a status report with the Court by April 5th, 2016″
In other words: “Someone found a way in, so we might not need to force Apple to do anything after all. Check back in a few weeks!”
Update — 4:41 PM Pacific: sure enough, a judge has granted the government’s request to postpone the hearing.
[Here’s the filing, as linked by Cyrus Farivar of Ars. First spotted by the EFF’s Nate Cardozo]