The Justice Department is pursuing court orders to make Apple Inc.
help investigators extract data from iPhones in about a dozen
undisclosed cases around the country, in disputes similar to the
current battle over a terrorist’s locked phone, according to a
newly-unsealed court document.
The other phones are evidence in cases where prosecutors have
sought, as in the San Bernardino, Calif., terror case, to use an
18th-century law called the All Writs Act to compel the company to
help them bypass the passcode security feature of phones that may
hold evidence, according to a letter from Apple which was unsealed
in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday. […]
The letter doesn’t describe the specific types of criminal
investigations related to those phones, but people familiar with
them said they don’t involve terrorism cases. The 12 cases remain
in a kind of limbo amid the bigger, more confrontational legal
duel between the government and the company over an iPhone seized
in the terror case in California, these people said.
But it’s really just about that one, single iPhone in the San Bernardino case.