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DOJ abandons another attempt to force Apple to hack into an iPhone

Earlier this month the Justice Department asked a federal court in Brooklyn, New York for a court order directing Apple to help it hack into the iPhone of Jun Feng, a convicted methamphetamine trafficker.

The DOJ now tells the court it has recovered the passcode, has unlocked Feng’s phone, and no longer needs the court order.  The Wall Street Journal reports it was Feng himself who provided the passcode. Feng, the WSJ says, only recently learned his iPhone was in the spotlight of a criminal investigation (and a political fight over the government’s right to access encrypted information on user devices).

All this may sound familiar. The government only recently abandoned another court order forcing Apple to hack into the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. “As we have said previously, these cases have never been about setting a court precedent,” DOJ spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement.MS