This week was slated to be a busy one for Apple. After today’s event that saw a new 4-inch iPhone and a handful of other product announcements the spotlight was set to shift to its ongoing battle with the FBI tomorrow as Apple once again appears in front of Congress.
But that may no longer be necessary. A new filing made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) says the FBI may have found another method to unlock unlock San Bernadino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone:
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.
It should be noted that this request to vacate tomorrow’s hearing won’t close the case. Instead, it will act as a way for the FBI and DOJ to buy time to see if there are other viable methods, such as the one uncovered yesterday, before moving back to the congressional stage for a ruling, if necessary.
Update: A magistrate judge approved the DOJ’s request for a continuance. The FBI now has until April 5 to attempt its newly discovered method before appearing again in front of congress.