The phone in question was being used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of two terrorists involved in shootings in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015. The FBI demanded that Apple unlock the phone and, when the company refused, attempted to get the courts to force Apple to do so.
However, before the case could come up for hearing, the FBI ended the stoush, announcing that it had been able to obtain the data by using the services of a third party.
That third party was speculated to be the Israeli company Cellebrite and US government records showed that the FBI had made payments of US$15,278.02 to the firm on 21 March 2016.
So too was the amount paid for the work. About the only additional detail available in the documents was the fact that the FBI had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the company.
The other detail that emerged was that three companies had contacted the FBI to offer their services to obtain the data on the phone, but none could do it fast enough to satisfy the FBI's needs.
The lawsuit filed by the three media organisations claimed there was no legal basis to withhold the information.
It also said the public had a right to know whether the FBI's chosen vendor had proper security measures in place and would act only in the public interest.