New York judge rules U.S. Justice Department can’t make Apple provide iPhone data

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NEW YORK (Feb. 29, 2016) — A New York judge says the U.S. Justice Department cannot force Apple to provide the FBI with access to locked iPhone data in a routine Brooklyn drug case.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled Monday. The decision follows a California magistrate judge’s order requiring Apple to create software to help the U.S. hack the iPhone of a shooter in the Dec. 2 killing of 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

In October, Orenstein invited Apple to challenge the government’s use of a 1789 law to compel Apple to help it recover iPhone data in criminal cases. Since then, lawyers say Apple has opposed the requests to help extract information from over a dozen iPhones in California, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York.

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