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Justice Department Wants to Overturn New York iPhone Unlocking Ruling

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The Justice Department has announced that it wants to overturn a ruling that currently protects an iPhone in New York from being unlocked.

Just last week, Judge James Orenstein rejected the government’s requests to unlock an iPhone that was involved in a New York drug case. The government had argued the phone should unlocked under the All Writs Act, but Orenstein objected, explaining that “the implications of the government’s position are so far-reaching... as to produce impermissibly absurd results.”


Now, Reuters reports that the Justice Department plans to appeal the ruling. In a filing, it argued that the phone in question runs an early version of iOS that Apple’s deigned to crack in the past. Yet it also cites the ongoing San Bernardino as an example of the All Writs Act being used to force Apple’s hand to unlock phones, which some may see as a little premature.

For its part, Apple is steadfastly refusing to act, just as it is in the San Bernardino case. In a statement, the company explained that it agreed with Orenstein, who has said that the request would “thoroughly undermine fundamental principles of the Constitution.”