Why the government is citing Aaron Burr in its fight against Apple

“The government is citing an 1807 case involving Aaron Burr in its court battle to compel Apple to write software that would help unlock the iPhone used by one of the shooters who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December,” Priya Anand reports for MarketWatch.

“In a new court filing Thursday, the Department of Justice argued that Apple should be forced to write new software to load onto the iPhone at hand to help FBI investigators unlock it, partly because Chief Justice John Marshall once forced Aaron Burr’s clerk to ‘decipher a coded letter’ the third vice president had written after Burr was charged with treason,” Anand reports. “The government says that it isn’t asking Apple for ‘decryption services’ in its request that the company write new software that would nix several security features… But it says that bit of history shows there would be a precedent for that too, given the Burr case.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Puleeze.

Apple wasn’t clerking for Islamic terrorists Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

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Apple: U.S. Justice Dept attempting to ‘smear’ company by taking a ‘cheap shot’ – March 10, 2016


  1. So . . . this government has to reach back over 200 years to cite a precedent for their fascist move on a private company? OMG. Why don’t we look at ALL the legal precedence from that time period to justify other contemporary government overreaching!? The reinstitution of slavery, for instance? It was perfectly legal at that time on these hallowed shores, so what ELSE would Ms. Lynch like to dredge up that suits her legal fancy? Just when you think it’s safe to go back into the water . . . .

    1. Calm down! The job of each side’s attorney is to state it’s case in the strongest possible terms. Then the judge decides whose argument shall prvail. In a system structured this way, you are bound to see some outrageous claims and hyperbole from time to time.

  2. The Burr letter was a forgery, Written by General James Wilkinson, a paid spy for the King of Spain. Wilkinson, at the request of President Jefferson, framed Burr for treason. Burr was found innocent!

  3. Tell me, “Sparkles,” has telling someone to “calm down” ever worked for you? In my experience, it’s a sure fire way to get them riled up even more. And if you think Usher’s reaction to this DOJ’s attack on Apple is over the top, you might want to rethink that a bit . . . in calm repose, of course.

  4. I’m curious, after this public relations campaign against Apple – if the FBI wins, if they can compel the engineers and programmers to write the code. They can compel Apple as a company, but I’d walk off the job if I were forced to write this code against my will.

    1. That’s a wrinkle in the linen, to be sure. I would not do it, and I’d bet many others would walk away, too. Silicon Valley programmers command top dollar and can find other work in an instant. Just another errant detail in the tapestry of futility the FBI has woven in its ham-fisted attempt to become the new and improved KGB.

  5. Aaron Burr!?
    I foresee a duel between Tim Cook and Barack Obama.
    Tim chooses a swordfight to settle their differences except the “sword” that Tim whips out is a little bit…er…unconventional. 🙂

    1. Cook would have his teenie weenie shot off. Politics aside, the Secret Service has the Pres covered.

      I do think the world should bring back the duel. So much faster method to settle private disputes than the shams that we call claims courts.

  6. Becoming clear now why Apple Inc. is implementing their new HQ in Cupertino to look like a space ship; it is actually a space ship & guess where its heading … outa the USofA!!

  7. Why in heaven’s name are we running a 21st-century society with laws that are hundreds of years old? It makes absolutely no sense! Some would have us believe that “the law” is so sacred that it must never be changed, but this is truly the height of absurdity!

    1. If that troubles you, we can only imagine what you think of the antiquated Bible and the people who take that collection of largely anonymous-authored, re-translated, biased, and revisionist guidebook literally.

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