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FBI unlocks US terrorist's iPhone

Syed Farook
Syed Farook

The FBI has successfully used a mystery technique without Apple's help to break into an iPhone linked to the gunman in a California mass shooting.

The surprise development effectively ends a court battle between Apple and the Obama administration.

The US government told a court that it had accessed data on gunman Syed Farook's iPhone and no longer requires Apple's assistance.

Farook and his wife died in a gun battle with police after killing 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December.

In response, Apple said that it will continue to increase the security of its products.

While saying it will still provide some help to the government "as we have done all along" the company reiterated its position that the government's demand was wrong.

"This case should never have been brought," Apple said.

A US magistrate last month ordered Apple to provide the FBI with software to help it hack into Farook's work-issued iPhone.

The order sparked a debate pitting digital privacy rights against national security concerns.