“A showdown between Apple and the FBI over a dead terrorist’s iPhone took a surprise twist this week, when a judge canceled a highly anticipated hearing at the 11th hour,” Jeff John Roberts writes for Fortune.

“This came as a victory for Apple, but, overall, it is still early innings in what is likely to be a long and bruising battle between the FBI and the tech industry,” Roberts writes. “The FBI’s recent sky-is-falling rhetoric now sounds less credible since the agency doesn’t appear to need Apple after all. This shift also makes the government’s very public legal and PR campaign against the company look more heavy-handed than before.”

“While the government is supposed to file a status report with the court on April 5, the case is basically over, according to Nate Cardozo, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. ‘Regarding whether this hearing ever takes place, it’s certainly possible but doesn’t seem at all likely. FBI is taking this fight to Congress,’ Cardozo said by email,” Roberts writes. “Cardozo believes the government has been on shaky legal ground all along and that, rather than risk an unfavorable precedent, the FBI will press lawmakers to grant it new powers rather than roll the dice in court.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: U.S. citizens can press their representatives to listen to perhaps the smartest of the Founding Fathers:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “BD” for the heads up.]