In the Matter of the Search of an Apple iPhone Seized During the Execution of a Search Warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203, No. ED 15-0451M (C.D. Cal. Feb. 16, 2016) Order hosted by DocumentCloud.
Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered Apple to assist federal investigators in accessing data stored on the iPhone that belonged to the San Bernardino gunman who killed 14 people.
In response to an ex parte motion for assistance from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the magistrate judge ordered Apple to provide the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) with “reasonable technical assistance” to accomplish three functions aimed at circumventing Apple’s security measures. The magistrate judge accepted the DOJ’s explanation in granting the order. Apple moved to vacate the order. Following Apple’s motion, the DOJ moved to compel Apple’s cooperation, and Apple filed an appeal of the order before a district court judge. At the time of writing, the DOJ delayed the next hearing since it may have obtained an alternative method to circumvent the iPhone’s security without Apple’s assistance.
After the December 2015 massacre in San Bernardino, California, the FBI executed a legal search warrant and discovered an iPhone used by the terrorist. It is uncontested that the search warrant authorizes the FBI to access the contents of the iPhone. However, investigators have been unable to circumvent Apple’s anti–brute-force security features, which include multi-layered encryption, an auto-erase function after ten incorrect passcode attempts, artificial delays between attempts, and disallowing electronic passcode submissions.