NEW YORK, April 8 (UPI) -- Even though federal investigators were able to unlock the iPhone used by shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre, the Justice Department is still seeking help from Apple to read data on a phone involved in an ongoing case in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Justice Department on Friday submitted a letter to a judge in New York again pressing its case against Apple in a 2014 drug investigation. Judge James Orenstein previously ruled the government lacks the power to compel Apple to write software to open the phone.
The Justice Department is now seeking a higher judge to review the matter. In his ruling in February, Orenstein said federal prosecutors overstepped the authority given it in the All Writs Act, a law written in 1789.
Jun Feng, the defendant who used the phone, pleaded guilty but both sides agreed a resolution to the legal dispute involving the phone is needed.
The Brooklyn case has received relatively little attention, overshadowed by the fight over the locked cellphone of Syed Farook, the alleged gunman in San Bernardino. Investigators said they were stalled by their inability to proceed past the phone's security passcode. The Justice Department sought a court order forcing Apple to write software for opening the phone, but quickly dropped its legal battle after an unidentified third party offered the FBI a method of opening the phone.
Apple contended that acquiescing to a government demand to open a cellphone would create future issues regarding security and privacy.
FBI Director James Comey said Thursday his agency purchased "a tool" to open Farook's phone, an Apple iPhone 5C, and successfully entered Farook's phone, but added the solution does not work on more advanced smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 5s, or iPhone 6 models.