US drops request for Apple to unlock iPhone

NEW YORK (AA) – U.S. authorities dropped a second request for Apple to decrypt an iPhone late Friday after receiving the passcode from another source.

The Department of Justice had asked for the technology giant to help unlock the phone as part of a drugs investigation in New York.

In a single-page court filing, the department said: “Yesterday [Thursday] evening, an individual provided the passcode to the iPhone at issue in this case. Late last night, the government used that passcode by hand and gained access to the iPhone. Accordingly, the government no longer needs Apple’s assistance to unlock the iPhone and withdraws its application.”

In an earlier case, the FBI had sought to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the killers in December’s shooting in San Bernardino, California. Later, the government said it had accessed the phone without Apple’s help.

U.S. lawmakers are currently working on a bill to require smartphone manufacturers to decrypt their devices at the request of law enforcement agencies.