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Tuesday, 22 March 2016 10:53

FBI gets Apple case put off to test data extraction method Featured

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The FBI appears to be trying to avoid a court showdown with Apple over accessing encrypted data on an iPhone 5C, asking for, and obtaining, a delay in a hearing set for Tuesday (US time) apparently in order to test whether another method of gaining access to the data is viable.

According to a report in Politico, the US Justice Department sought the delay from the court on Monday (US time), just a day before the hearing set down by Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym.

The agency said it may not need Apple's assistance to unlock the phone if the method for unlocking the iPhone demonstrated to it by an outside party was successful. It has been given until April 5 to test this method.

The FBI is looking to gain access to the phone which belongs to the San Bernardino County Department of Health and was being used by one of its employees, Syed Rizwan Farook, who was involved in an attack that killed 14 people in December last year. Farook also died in the process.

The FBI initially obtained a court order asking Apple to create a modified version of its iOS mobile operating system to remove a limit on the number of times one could try to guess the pass code and also the time intervals between guesses. When Apple refused, the agency came back with an order compelling Apple to fall in line.

Technology experts have pointed out that there are other means of obtaining the data the FBI seeks.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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