Security & Fraud

Apple Asks Judge To Toss FBI Request

The Apple-FBI saga has officially made its way into the courthouse.

Apple filed a formal opposition to the FBI’s request to overhaul its encryption security policy in order to give the government backdoor access into an iPhone — the case that has been stirring up the debate about privacy and security across the tech ecosystem.

Now, however, Apple has taken its stance in court in a formal filing that asks a judge to vacate the FBI’s order to unlock the iPhone. This case was brought about when Apple refused to unlock the iPhone in the San Bernardino shooting case. What Apple has argued since is that the FBI’s request would essentially render the security protecting all of its iPhones useless, since once a code was created to hack an iPhone, it would then be vulnerable to hackers.

“Apple strongly supports, and will continue to support, the efforts of law enforcement in pursuing justice against terrorists and other criminals — just as it has in this case and many others,” Apple wrote in its motion. “But the unprecedented order requested by the government finds no support in the law and would violate the Constitution.”

What Apple goes on to argue is that the government’s reach into the security of its products would “inflict significant harm — to civil liberties, society and national security — and would preempt decisions that should be left to the will of the people through laws passed by Congress and signed by the president.”

Apple argues the FBI’s request violated the company’s first and fifth amendment rights and notes that the court should vacate the motion. It cites a statute that the government has used in past cases to try and get data. Apple wrote that “Congress has never authorized judges to compel innocent third parties to provide decryption services to the FBI.”

“Under well-settled law, computer code is treated as speech within the meaning of the First Amendment,” Apple wrote.

Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook have also reportedly voiced their support behind Apple today.

Apple’s full filing is available below.


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