FBI, Apple hearing over unlocking phone canceled

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal prosecutor’s spokesman says a much-anticipated hearing over the FBI’s demand that Apple help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers has been canceled.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, says Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym on Monday granted the government’s request to delay the hearing, which had been set for Tuesday.

He says Pym ordered the government to file a status report by April 5.

In a filing late Monday, federal prosecutors said “an outside party” has come forward and shown the FBI a possible method for unlocking the phone used by one of the shooters in the Dec. 2 terror attack. Authorities say they need time to determine if the method will work without compromising data on the phone.

If the method works, the government said, it would eliminate the need for Apple’s assistance. Apple has fought the court order, saying the government’s demand for assistance would make other iPhones vulnerable.

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