Can the FBI force a company to break into its own products? No, says U.S. Magistrate

“Can the FBI force a company like Apple to extract data from a customer’s smartphone?” Brandon Bailey reports for The Associated Press. “In the fight over an iPhone used by an extremist killer in San Bernardino, some legal experts say Congress has never explicitly granted that power. And now a federal judge agrees in a similar case.”

“In a New York drug case that echoes the much higher-profile San Bernardino dispute, U.S. Magistrate James Orenstein has ruled the government doesn’t have authority to make Apple pull information off a suspect’s iPhone. The judge said in his ruling that Congress has already considered, but rejected, extending the government’s authority in this fashion,” Bailey reports. “Orenstein cited the history of a 20-year-old federal law — one that requires phone companies to assist police in conducting court-authorized wiretaps. Congress has resisted attempts over the years to extend that authority to tech companies like Apple, according to experts who have studied the law, known as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA.”

“Federal prosecutors have argued that a much older law known as the All Writs Act allows courts to compel private parties to assist law enforcement. But Orenstein said that shouldn’t apply when, in his words, ‘Congress has considered legislation that would achieve the same result but has not adopted it,'” Bailey reports. “Even before Orenstein’s ruling, some legal experts said in recent weeks that the history of CALEA suggests that authorities are overreaching in the San Bernardino case.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oppose government overreach no matter how many lies they tell or heartstrings they attempt to tug.

FBI Director Comey now claims ‘mistake made’ in changing San Bernadino terrorist’s Apple ID password – March 1, 2016
U.S. Congress likely to side with Apple vs. FBI in iPhone unlocking fight – March 1, 2016
Why did the FBI direct the San Bernardino Health Department to reset Syed Farook’s Apple ID? – February 22, 2016
Turing Award winners advocate for encryption; back Apple vs. U.S. government overreach – March 1, 2016
Mark Cuban: Why Apple must win vs. the FBI; in the United States of America, we have rights – March 1, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch plays disinformation card in iPhone unlocking fight – March 1, 2016
The FBI’s case against Apple got kneecapped in Brooklyn: The judges rebuke couldn’t have been stronger – March 1, 2016
U.S. Magistrate Judge: The U.S. government cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone in New York drug case – February 29, 2016
Verizon CEO McAdam supports strong encryption; Apple vs. FBI should be addressed by U.S. Congress – March 1, 2016
House Judiciary Committee members consider legal brief in support of Apple vs. U.S. government – March 1, 2016
Apple will tell Congress that strong encryption protects against terrorists – March 1, 2016
U.S. Representative Darrell Issa on Apple vs. FBI: Very scary when your government wants to know more about you – February 24, 2016
Apple CEO Cook decried Obama’s ‘lack of leadership’ on encryption during a closed-door meeting last month – February 29, 2016
Apple’s top lawyer: U.S. government order weakens security for all iPhones – February 29, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook can probably defy the US government all he wants and not go to jail – February 29, 2016
Apple CEO Cook picks up where Snowden left off in privacy debate – February 29, 2016
Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
If Apple loses, your home could be the next thing that’s unlocked: Access to your security cameras would be just a judge order away – February 28, 2016
The Apple vs. FBI fight is about something more basic than software and laws – February 28, 2016
Apple privacy battle with Washington looms as watershed moment – February 26, 2016
Apple’s lawyer: If we lose, it will lead to a ‘police state’ – February 26, 2016
Apple: The law already exists that protects us from U.S. government demands to hack iPhone – February 26, 2016


  1. Regarding the “extremist killer”;

    “He’s dead, Jim.”

    The government is trying to extract data from a government-issued iPhone previously issued to a dead person.

    All they need to do is look at the listening post info recorded by the NSA or go find the throw-away cellphone used for the extremist cell activities. The FBI is looking in all the wrong places.

  2. If you watched the congressional hearing yesterday, you would have seen how some of the congressmen and the FBI director use “terrorists” and “terrorism” to scare the american public.

    America, stop bing afraid!! By being afraid, you are falling victim to exactly what they want! Their whole M.O. is to try and make us all live in “terror”.

    We should be the ones striking fear in to their hearts, not the other way around!

  3. I’m sure that a branch of that so called government can come up with a law say call them an enemy combatting corporation or something outrageous like that and use that title to strip away any and all right, and then that would allow to government to take those from that corporation to very exclusive resorts where they would be convinced to give any and all properly initialed organizations whatever they want, with or without lubrication.

    Oh just teasing folks, it’s a joke, no one in their right mind with the slightest shred of decency would ever sink so low as to ever do that.

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