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Court Douses FBI Claims

Apple has asked a US federal judge to reject the US Justice Department’s bid to make it unlock an iPhone tied to a New York drug case. The latest volley comes as the two are at loggerheads over encryption and privacy.

The disagreement escalated sharply in February when the Federal Bureau of Investigation took Apple to court in a bid to force it to help open the locked work-phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people and injured 22 others in San Bernardino last year.

The Government dropped that case last month after a third party reportedly showed the FBI an alternative method of cracking open the phone. The FBI has said the technique only works on a narrow slice of iPhones and can’t be used on many others, including the one currently at issue in New York.

Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled in February that the Government didn’t have legal authority to compel Apple. But the Justice Department is continuing its fight.

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