The US Department of Justice (DOJ) scraped on Monday its request for Apple Inc.'s assistance to hack into the phone of a terrorist killer.
The federal government department, on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made the move at the US District Court, Central California, before Judge Sheri Pym.
A week ago, a day before the DOJ and the Silicon Valley technology company were scheduled to appear at a hearing at the court, the government side said it was trying a new way to unlock the iPhone 5c used by Syed Farook, who together with his wife Tashfeen Malik shot dead 14 people on Dec. 2 last year in San Bernardino, California, before being killed by police.
The smartphone has a feature that erases data after 10 unsuccessful unlocking attempts.
Apple had been resisting the order by Judge Pym since Feb. 16, when she ordered the manufacturer to provide the FBI with specialized software to disable the security feature.
In an earlier TV interview, citing privacy protection for customers as a reason, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook suggested that he would fight the case all the way up the U.S. Supreme Court.
The argument was heated, as the government side fought on the ground that it was a work phone owned by the San Bernardino County, and the software would be in the process of Apple rather than in the hands of FBI agents.
Both sides seemed to have failed to win full public support.
However, the DOJ's decision not to go after Apple's assistance effectively put the dispute to an end, at least for now.