Articles Tagged with apple

In an unprecedented case, Apple, the ever-popular electronics company, has argued that the FBI is violating its constitutional First amendment rights. In a 36-page legal brief submitted in the District Court: Central District of California, Apple made its first formal rebuttal to a court order ordering Apple to code a software that would make it easier for the government to crack open the phone of the San Bernardino gunman, Syed Farook.

Apple’s legal team, led by George W. Bush’s former solicitor general, Theodore Olson, claims that computer code is speech, which cannot be compelled. Compelling Apple to write a code it does not want to violates the first amendment. Moreover, Apple has accused the federal government of being indifferent to privacy concerns and being dishonest in how legally valid the request was.

Lastly, Apple has claimed that the order violates its fifth amendment due process protections by leaning too heavily on the archaic 1789 All Writs Act. Essentially, the Act allows courts to issue whatever legal orders they need to issue in order to do their jobs. See 28 USC §1651.  Essentially, the company claims that forcing them to write a special code for the FBI is burdensome, illegal, and unfair.

In this ever-increasing digital age, personal privacy and rights continue to controversial topic. In the midst of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s investigation, the District Court of California, at the formal request of the FBI, issued an All Writs Act 1789 order on Apple asking them to code a special iOS to be installed on Farook’s iPhone. The code would allow the FBI to make unlimited guesses at Farook’s password. As Apple makes their iPhones increasingly secure, the FBI is having trouble hacking into iOS data, which is costly and time-consuming.

As a result, the government has tried to co-opt Apple and used the Writ Act to force Apple to collaborate with them. Apple has currently appealed its case, with its CEO Tim Cook issuing a statement that such a code would threaten the security of iPhone owners, and pledging to uphold people’s privacy. In the interim, they have figured out that Apple’s TouchID can be bypassed with people’s fingerprints and/or copies of their fingerprints.

If Apple loses its appeal, those concerned about their security should disable their TouchID and opt for a strong password.