Here we go again.
The U.S. Justice Department announced Friday it would move forward with efforts to try and force Apple to comply in helping break into another iPhone to retrieve information in a drug case in New York.
The case out of Brooklyn case is now at the center of a battle over whether a 227-year-old law provides the government vast authority to force a technology company to comply with their demands in criminal investigations.
According to Fox News, government officials filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Margo K. Brodie in Brooklyn to order Apple’s cooperation in the drug case.
The U.S. government made the move despite the fact it recently dropped its court action to compel Apple to help it break into the iPhone used by the San Bernardino Terror suspect who killed 14 people.
“The government’s application is not moot and the government continues to require Apple’s assistance in accessing the data that it is authorized to search by warrant,” the Justice Department said in a one-paragraph letter to Brodie.
Apple expressed disappointment in a statement and indicated its lawyers will question whether the FBI attempted to use any other means to gain access to the phone in Brooklyn.
The technology giant wanted to delay the case in Brooklyn by claiming that the same technique used by the feds in the San Bernardino case could be successful in the drug case, bypassing the need for any further court action.
On Friday, U.S. prosecutors told Brodie it does not intend to modify the DOJ’s request made in March, asking her to reverse a ruling made back in February which concluded that the centuries-old All Writs Act was not a law that could be used to force Apple to help the government extract information from iPhones.
The ruling that was issued by Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, who invited Apple to challenge the 1789 law, saying he wanted to know if the government requests had created a burden for the Cupertino, California-based company.
Lawyers have said since the ruling Apple has opposed requests to comply with the extraction of data from over a dozen iPhones in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and California,
In the challenge to Orenstein’s decision, the government has argued that the judge overstepped his powers by creating “an unprecedented limitation on” judicial authority.
The government further states that said it lacked sufficient alternatives to obtain Apple’s help for the case out of Brooklyn which deals with an iPhone that has a different version of operating system than the phone at the center of the San Bernardino case.
Apple says it plans to respond in court by Thursday.
Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said on Friday that the instrument used to gain access in the case inSan Bernardino is limited and can only utilize on a particular narrow category of phones.
“We still require Apple’s help in accessing the data, which they have made little effort to assist in at least 70 other cases when presented with court orders for comparable phones running iOS 7 or earlier operating systems,” she said.