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Apple vs. FBI

After hacking into San Bernardino iPhone, FBI to assist Arkansas prosecutor with similar request

A prosecutor in Arkansas said after he heard that the FBI was able to hack into an iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, he asked for assistance in unlocking an iPhone 6 and iPod belonging to two suspects in a murder case.

"The iPod had just come into our possession a couple of weeks ago," said Cody Hiland, prosecuting attorney for the 20th Judicial District. "Obviously, when we heard that [the FBI] had been able to crack that phone we wanted to at least ask and see if they wanted to help." The FBI has agreed to help, but it's unclear if they will be using the same method that allowed them to gain access to Farook's phone, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Encryption has become an issue for law enforcement, with police departments pointing to phones that they can't unlock just sitting in evidence. The devices Hiland wants unlocked belong to suspects in the July murder of Robert and Patricia Cogdell in their home outside of Little Rock. An FBI official told the Times it's possible the method used on Farook's phone might not work on other devices, and it's unlikely the process will be used in cases that would result in criminal prosecutions, as the method would become subject to discovery at trial.