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Image credit: China Daily China Daily Information Corp - CDIC

Apple refused a court order to crack an iPhone in February

The report comes via unsealed court documents.
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China Daily China Daily Information Corp - CDIC

Now that the dust has (mostly) settled between the government and Apple over the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c, we're learning this isn't the first time the firm has objected to breaking into its smartphones. In February, a Boston magistrate tried getting the iPhone-maker to provide "reasonable assistance" in extracting information from an alleged gang member's handset, according to unsealed court documents obtained by Reuters. But, like in the case involving Syed Rizwan Farook's phone, the tech juggernaut didn't comply.

As magistrate Marianne Bowler explains, that sort of assistance entails:

"To the extent possible, extracting data from the device, copying the data from the device onto an external hard drive or other storage medium and returning the aforementioned storage medium to law enforcement."

Exactly which model of iPhone was involved in this case, and whether or not the government's "tool" for bypassing its security applies to this one aren't clear at this point. If anything, though, this proves that Apple at least remains steadfast in not complying with any request to hack its own software -- not just when there's a highly public case involved. We've reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post should the company respond.

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