Apple-FBI Showdown Took Shape a Year Ago

Legal showdown has been in the works for a long time
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2016 5:00 AM CST
Facebook, Twitter Back Apple in Encryption Fight
Apple iPhones and iPads fill a table during a news conference at NYPD headquarters on Thursday in New York.   (AP Photo/Verena Dobnik)

It's a battle that could shape the future of technology, and Facebook has chosen a side: The company issued a statement on Thursday signaling that it supports Apple in its refusal to crack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Facebook condemns terrorism, the company said in a statement, but it will "continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems." Earlier, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: "We stand with @timcook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)!" In related coverage:

  • The New York Times looks at how the Apple-FBI showdown was more than a year in the making—and how it was foreshadowed by a clash over a meth dealer's phone.

  • Wired dives deep into the technical issues involved and explains why the feds may never be able to get into the phone, even if Apple does everything they want it to.
  • Reuters speaks to legal experts about the case, one of whom notes that the San Bernardino case presents the "worst set of facts possible for Apple" to have to defend its encryption policy under.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports on the reaction on Capitol Hill, where Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr was rumored to be looking at introducing criminal penalties for companies that buck court orders on encrypted communications.
  • When the issue came up at a Democratic town hall on Thursday night, neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders would pick a side, even though "there really isn't a middle ground to occupy," the Intercept reports.
  • The AP reports that at a Thursday press conference, police and prosecutors warned that Apple encryption was hindering investigations, with scores of "warrant proof" devices now gathering dust in a cybercrime lab.
(A law from 1789 is central to the government's case.)

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