New York iPhone encryption case may also be delayed

Apple has asked a federal magistrate in New York to extend a court filing deadline until after the government decides whether it can unlock a different iPhone in a similar case, reports Computerworld.

The New York case involves an iPhone used by a convicted drug dealer. Last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested a court order requiring Apple to help authorities crack that phone's security so that investigators could access its data. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein refused the demand, but the DOJ appealed.

In a related case, last week the FBI filed a motion to delay today’s hearing in the San Bernardino iPhone case, claiming that an "outside party" may be able to help it break into the smartphone used by Syed Farook, the shooter in the San Bernardino, California, shooting, without Apple's help. Now the lawyer for Apple argued that it would be "highly inefficient" to go forward with the New York case until the government reported the results of the new technique on April 5.

"As in the San Bernardino Matter, the DOJ argues in this case that an All Writs Act order is appropriate because Apple's assistance is necessary to effectuate the search warrant issued by the Court," wrote Marc Zwillinger, an attorney retained by Apple in both cases, in a letter to the New York court on Thursday. "This is a disputed issue."