ACLU, other privacy groups urge U.S. judge to support Apple vs. U.S. government in iPhone case

“Digital privacy advocates have called on a U.S. federal judge to approve Apple Inc’s request not to be compelled to build software to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attack,” Jim Finkle reports for Reuters.

“The American Civil Liberties Union, Access Now and the Wickr Foundation laid out arguments in amicus briefs released on Wednesday ahead of a March 22 hearing in which Judge Sheri Pym will review Apple’s appeal of a court order demanding it help unlock a phone used by Rizwan Farook,” Finkle reports. “Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp and Twitter Inc also plan to file similar briefs, Twitter, Microsoft and people familiar with the plans of the other two companies said last week.”

“The ACLU argued that the FBI’s request would undermine the privacy and security of Americans by forcing a private firm to act as its investigative agent, seeking information that it does not already possess,” Finkle reports. “‘Law enforcement may not commandeer innocent third parties into becoming its undercover agents, its spies, or its hackers,’ according to a draft of the brief obtained by Reuters.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last month:

The day the U.S. government can force anybody to write something is the day the United States of America as we know it dies.

If this keeps up, you won’t need to build a wall. Nobody will want in.

Of course, Apple has in its power to render even these methods, should they be forced upon the company, moot with future iOS updates that protect user privacy from government overreach.

It would be nice, however, not to have to depend on a company to enforce U.S. Constitutional rights, but rather to have a government – made up of people who swear oaths to the Constitution, no less – that protects citizens’ Constitutional rights jealously instead of wiping their asses with the document daily.

Apple scored the knockout punch against FBI in House Judiciary Committee hearing – March 2, 2016
Within an hour of Malaysia Flight 370 disappearing, Apple was working with officials to locate it – March 2, 2016
John McAfee reveals how the FBI can unlock an iPhone in 30 minutes – March 2, 2016
Can the FBI force a company to break into its own products? No, says U.S. Magistrate – March 2, 2016
Apple CEO Cook decried Obama’s ‘lack of leadership’ on encryption during a closed-door meeting last month – February 29, 2016
Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
Apple’s fight with U.S. could speed development of devices impervious to government intrusion – February 24, 2016
Petition asks Obama administration to stop demanding Apple create iPhone backdoor – February 19, 2016
Obama administration claims FBI is not asking Apple for a ‘backdoor’ to the iPhone – February 18, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Obama’s secret attempt to ban cellphone unlocking, while claiming to support it – November 19, 2013


    1. Errr… judges vacate previous orders ALL THE TIME. That is why they provide the subjects of court demands the opportunity to explain a refusal. Hell, after the FBI responds to Apple’s filing, Apple gets the chance to have the final word with a rebuttal of its own. So, yeah, there is a system in place that provides a magistrate with new and/or additional information on which he or she can act.

      The profound ignorance of Americans regarding the operation of their own legal system is appalling.

      1. It’s good that you explained, in spite of being appalled, because in doing so you made a small contribution to reducing said ignorance. May you be less appalled in the future.

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