The Apple-FBI showdown is over

Never mind.
Never mind.
Image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
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The FBI says it has gained access to the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters—without Apple’s help—and is now requesting an end to its legal action against the company.

The government had gone to court to compel the company to write a special operating system that bypasses the iPhone’s security features.

The saga began on Feb. 16, when US magistrate Sheri Pym ruled that Apple had to help the FBI break into the work phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in a Dec. 2 shooting in San Bernardino, California.

When Apple refused, the two sides engaged in a very public battle. Open letters were written. Court filings were submitted. Both sides were grilled by members of Congress in a judiciary hearing.

Apple and FBI officials were due back in court March 22, but the hearing was postponed at the last minute, when the FBI revealed that it might have found a way into the phone without needing Apple’s involvement after all. Assistance reportedly came from Israeli firm Cellebrite, which has a technology that can extract data from mobile devices.