A judge has rejected the latest instance of the US government seeking to access the phone of a criminal after the FBI filed a request to access the iPhone of a convicted drug dealer.
Jun Feng has already pleaded guilty to being a crystal meth dealer and will be sentenced in April but the FBI had sought to obtain further evidence by citing a 227 year old law known as the All Writs Act, which would have compelled Apple to offer assistance.
The move comes in the midst of a high profile stand-off between the government and Apple over a contentious bid to unlock an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino killer, a move which Tim Cook compared to a ‘cancer’.
Apple is set to go head to head with officials from the US justice department in Congress in which officials will repeat their demands that the tech giant loosens password protection on its devices.
Explaining his decision judge James Orenstein said: “The implications of the government’s position are so far-reaching – both in terms of what it would allow today and what it implies about Congressional intent in 1789 – as to produce impermissibly absurd results.”