A few weeks ago I wrote about the case of Apple versus the FBI. To quickly recap, The FBI wanted Apple to create a custom operating system for a phone that was used by one of the San Bernadino shooters. Apple was ordered to do this by a judge because the FBI “exhausted all possible routes” for breaking into the iPhone and could not do it without the assistance of Apple.
Last week, the FBI asked the court to put a stay on the order in order to investigate a way to break into the iPhone. Today, the FBI has requested to vacate the order compelling Apple to assist. Vacating an order does not mean that the FBI will not request the same assistance in the future. The request to vacate effectively means that the request never happened and nothing occurred.
The reasons for the FBI requesting this is most likely for a couple of reasons. The first being the they were able to access the information on the phone; which they were able to do so. The second reason is likely due to the likelihood of the FBI losing the case.
The third reason is released to the second. If they were to proceed and lose, it would set precedent and hamper any future, as well as existing, efforts.
What happens in the future is unknown. The order being vacated does not impact any other possible case. Apple and the FBI have both indicated that Congress needs to determine what the proper balance between customer security and the needs of law enforcement.
It is not the last that we have heard regarding government needing assistance with getting into an iPhone. This case, for now, is done.