DOJ

DOJ postpones Apple hearing, says it has possible method to unlock iPhone

The Department of Justice on Monday asked to postpone a court hearing set for tomorrow on the high profile case of whether or not Apple should be forced to help the FBI break into an iPhone, reports Politico. Their request was granted.

For months, the DOJ has insisted they needed Apple’s help to break into the handset, as part of an ongoing terrorism investigation. Apple has steadfastly resisted, citing dangerous precedent, but the government may not need its help after all.

DOJ threatened to seize iOS source code unless Apple complies with court order in FBI case

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has slid a disturbing footnote in its court filing against Apple that could be interpreted as a threat to seize the iOS source code unless Apple complies with a court order in the FBI case.

The DoJ is demanding that Apple create a special version of iOS with removed security features that would permit the FBI to run brute-force passcode attempts on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has made public where he stands on the Apple vs. FBI case, which has quickly become a heated national debate.

Apple loses final appeal in e-books price-fixing suit, will pay $450 million fine

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a 2013 decision finding Apple guilty for conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices, reports The Wall Street Journal. As a result, the company is expected to pay a $450 million settlement it agreed to with private plaintiffs, 30+ states and the DOJ last year.

“We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices,” wrote Second Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston. The conspiracy “unreasonably restrained trade” in violation of the Sherman Act, the federal antitrust law, she wrote.

DOJ reportedly using fake aircraft-mounted cell towers to spy on mobile phones

The US Department of Justice is installing equipment on airplanes that masquerades as a cell phone tower in order to gather mobile phone data, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The program’s goal is to identify criminals, but each plane is capable of collecting data from thousands of phones in a single flight.

The Journal says these spy devices are called “dirtboxes,” and have a surface area of two feet by two feet. They’re being installed on fixed-wing aircraft by the US Marshals Service’s Technical Operations group, and purport to be strong-signaled cell towers. This tricks cellphones into giving them their IMSI info, making them totally trackable.

Apple reaches settlement in $840 million e-books antitrust lawsuit

Apple has settled with U.S. states and consumers that were seeking damages for alleged price fixing on e-books, protecting itself from a trial where it could have faced up to $840 million in claims. Bloomberg was first to report on the news, claiming that a trial had been set for July after Apple was found to be conspiring with book publishers to raise e-book prices as part of an illegal scheme… 

DOJ files first ever criminal charges against mobile app pirates

The US Department of Justice has long taken issue with large-scale copyright infringement. It’s gone after pirates of various different kinds of content, including music and movies—who could forget the FBI raid on the home of Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom.

But up until now, the DOJ has never gone after mobile app pirates. That changed this week, though, when it filed charges against 4 men behind Android app piracy websites Snappzmarket and Appbucket for conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement…

Apple gets federal babysitter to watch over iBooks sales

Apple’s federal e-book babysitter was named Wednesday. New York Judge Denise Cote assigned former Department of Just Inspector General Michael Bromwich to monitor Apple’s compliance with antitrust laws concerning e-book sales. In July, Apple agreed to an independent monitor after being found guilt of conspiring with five publishers to fix prices.

Although Apple has called such a monitor unnecessary, DoJ prosecutors demanded the step as part of the final court remedy. Judge Cote, however, threw Apple a bone, reducing Bromwich’s monitoring duty to just two years, less than half of the five years the Justice Department had originally wanted…

Apple can keep 30 percent cut on sales, injunction in DOJ ebooks case confirms

Like a prisoner on Death Row, Apple has delayed its penalty for weeks, offering up objection after objection to a proposed Department of Justice ebook antitrust settlement. Friday, federal judge Denise Cote issued an injunction, giving federal lawyers much of what they wanted.

Among the prohibitions against Apple: a five-year ban on so-called ‘most-favored-nation’ clauses in publisher contracts that would prevent ebook sellers from using rival services, such as Amazon. Also part of the penalty package was a requirement that Apple stagger contract negotiations with the five publishers that had already settled…

Apple: DOJ’s revised e-book remedies a ‘broadside’ favoring Amazon

Even after the end of a formal antitrust trial, both sides in ebook pricing case continue to argue. Apple said the Department of Justice’s latest version of proposed penalties are a “broadside” favoring rival Amazon. The comments by Apple’s legal team came as the government and the iBooks company hammer out details largely in public.

Apple’s remarks centered on the DOJ’s insistence that an outside antitrust monitor be named to ensure against anticompetitive practices in the ebook industry. In July, Apple was found guilty of ebook price-fixing and colluding with publishers against Amazon…