It looks like the “messy” legal battle with the United States Federal Government and Apple is over — since the government managed to get they way without Apple’s help. The Justice Department has stated that they have successfully retrieved the data from the phone, and has requested that their previous order be vacated.
Our decision to conclude the litigation was based solely on the fact that, with the recent assistance of a third party, we are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone.
As far as what was done to unlock the phone, that hasn’t been revealed (we don’t know what data had been found, either)…we only know that the assistance came from Israeli tech company Cellebrite, which specialised in mobile forensic software.
As far as Apple is concerned, they feel as though the FBI never should’ve asked them to create a backdoor in the first place (below). The way this conflict ended also means that there still isn’t any definitive judgement on whether or not the government can in fact force a company for reasons such as terrorism:
From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.
We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.