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Justice Dept. Receives Offer to Help Unlock iPhone

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Mar 21, 2016, 6:40 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The U.S. Department of Justice may have found a way to unlock the San Bernadino shooter's iPhone without Apple. "An outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking [Syed] Farook's iPhone," said the Justice Department in a court filing Monday. "Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook's iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case." In response, the Justice Department asked the judge overseeing its case against Apple to cancel the hearing planned for March 22. The Justice Department's request was granted and the hearing rescheduled for April 5, should it be necessary. Earlier on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated the company's intent to fight the government's request. "We believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and protect your privacy," said Cook. "We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country. We will not shrink from this responsibility." The government hopes to know within a couple of weeks if the third-party method will work.

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