Apple to Judge in FBI Case: Reverse Your Order

Company files first official response in San Bernardino phone case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2016 2:44 PM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2016 3:09 PM CST
Apple to Judge in FBI Case: Reverse Your Order
In this April 30, 2015, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook responds to a question during a news conference in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Apple on Thursday filed its first official response to a judge's order last week that the company help the FBI hack into a locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Apple asked the federal magistrate to reverse the order, the AP reports, and accused the federal government of seeking "dangerous power" through the courts by proposing a "boundless interpretation" of the law that, if left unchecked, could bring disastrous repercussions for digital privacy. "The government says: 'Just this once' and 'Just this phone.' But the government knows those statements are not true," lawyers for Apple wrote in a memo submitted to the judge. "No court has ever authorized what the government now seeks, no law supports such unlimited and sweeping use of the judicial process, and the Constitution forbids it."

"The government wants to compel Apple to create a crippled and insecure product. Once the process is created, it provides an avenue for criminals and foreign agents to access millions of iPhones," the memo continues. The filing was made the same day that FBI Director James Comey defended the government's approach during separate appearances on Capitol Hill, where he stressed that the agency was seeking specialized software for only one phone as part of an ongoing terrorism investigation. Meanwhile, Engadget reports that Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have all pledged to support Apple in court. Microsoft's president and chief legal officer said at a congressional hearing before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday that it would file an amicus brief backing Apple, Bloomberg reports. (Bill Gates, though, is on the government's side.)

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