"As 2015 drew to a close, you might be forgiven for thinking the encryption debate was all talk. There had been a lot of speeches and it was clear the FBI didn’t like Apple’s default encryption system — but what could they actually do about it? They had been leaning on Congress all year and getting nowhere.
Then, everything changed. On February 16th, the FBI took Apple to court over an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers, putting encryption at the center of the largest terrorism-linked shooting in the US in years. A similar phone-unlocking order was already being argued in New York, and the two cases plunged Apple into a legal crisis, as the company faced the possibility that a single ruling might undo years of security work.
THE FBI'S ENCRYPTION CASES ARE OVER
Now, two months later, that fight is effectively over. The government backed out of the San Bernardino case on March 28th, after paying for a new method to break into the phone, and on Friday, the government pulled a similar move in New York. Late Friday night, investigators said they had discovered the passcode to the iPhone at the center of the New York case. It was an embarrassing retreat, announced at a time that would generate as little press coverage as possible, and hastily close an appeal that prosecutors had sworn to continue just two weeks earlier."