ACLU: U.S. government forced Google and Apple to unlock 63 devices

“The government insisted that its effort to force Apple to help break into an iPhone as part of the investigation into the 2015 San Bernardino shootings was just about that one case,” Eliza Sweren-Becker reports for the ACLU. “Even though the FBI no longer needs Apple’s help in that case, the FBI’s request was part of a sustained government effort to exercise novel law enforcement power.”

“At the heart of the legal battle is the All Writs Act, originally passed in 1789, which gives courts the authority to issue orders necessary to enforce other lawful orders or decisions,” Sweren-Becker reports. “We’ve found that the government has been using the law to force tech companies to help unlock their customers’ devices in dozens of cases since 2008. ”

“We uncovered 63 confirmed cases in which the government applied for an order under the All Writs Act to compel Apple or Google to provide assistance in accessing data stored on a mobile device,” Sweren-Becker reports. “To the extent we know about the underlying facts, these cases predominantly arise out of investigations into drug crimes.”

“The FBI wants you to think that it will use the All Writs Act only in extraordinary cases to force tech companies to assist in the unlocking of phones,” Sweren-Becker reports. “Turns out, these kinds of orders have actually become quite ordinary.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The FBI lied. Shocker.

FBI agrees to unlock iPhone, iPod in Arkansas homicide case – March 31, 2016
U.S. Senator Wyden pledges to fight limits on encryption – March 31, 2016
Apple’s new challenge: Learning how the U.S. cracked terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Did the FBI just unleash a hacker army on Apple? – March 29, 2016
Apple declares victory in battle with FBI, but the war continues – March 29, 2016
Apple vows to increase security as FBI claims to break into terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
U.S. government drops Apple case after claiming hack of terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Meet Cellebrite, the Israeli company reportedly cracking iPhones for the FBI – March 24, 2016


  1. No surprise here, but again this “only invented here” idea seems to persist

    “Even though the FBI no longer needs Apple’s help in that case, the FBI’s request was part of a sustained government effort to exercise novel law enforcement power.”

    This law enforcement power is not really novel. I mean Guantanamo on the Bay really isn’t that different in principle to Auschwitz so there’s a nice legal precedence. Of course those who forget history are doomed to repeat it and that fits in well when their supreme commander suggest “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards”.

    So it’s not really that novel. though certainly so far justice isn’t prevailing but who knows maybe one day.

    1. I suggest you Go to Auschwitz before you make crass remarks like that, whatever the awfulness of Guantanamo Bay it truly is nothing like Auschwitz I assure you. If you think it is then you ironically are the one who has forgotten your history and thus has little base upon which to learn about not repeating it. But when you can reveal gas chambers and rooms full of teeth and human hair ready to be used to make US Army uniforms at the latter to name just a few evils, then I will buy into your comparison.

      1. Better yet, why do you go to the Guantanamo on the Bay resort and watch, no experience what they have to offer there, and then come back and tell me a crass remark. That will probably lend to to reconsider my opinion.

        I’ll also accept on the detainees to make a comment that my opinion is crass.

        My statement was ” mean Guantanamo on the Bay really isn’t that different in principle to Auschwitz so there’s a nice legal precedence” and in principle Auschwitz and the Guantanamo on the Bay resort operate on the principle of dehumanize people. Sure one camp was for making products from human remains and the other is for extracting information, so they say.

        I’m not asking you to buy into my comparison, but I do think after a week at either of those spots at the appropriate time, you’d be buying right into any comparison offered to your tortured and mutilated body, regardless of whether or not it was a Nazi or the fine staff at Guantanamo Bay.

        1. Petulant child speaks.
          Petulant child hurls insults.
          Petulant child wants attention.
          Petulant child reads his own posts with a self congratulatory smirk, sure of his superiority to all.
          Petulant child shivers at night in bitterness and fear that no one loves him. He wonders why.

            1. You do not own the moral high ground. You are a fraud. Your willful ignorance and/or misreading of history betrays you. Sanctimonious and self congratulatory, your posts are nothing more than reflective embellishments of your own bitterness at life.

            2. Say you are pretty insightful with that ad hominem attack, what’s your slant on the ones who dehumanize and torture people either at Auschwitz or Guantanamo on the Bay resort. Come on you can dish out the insults, let them really flow cause whatever you call me it’s a far cry from the monsters that dehumanize and torture people.

              Unless of course you want to sing words of praise.

              Or are you one of those types that is stuck on ad hominem attacks and leaves the issue on the way side, covered in smoke and distorted by mirrors.

              Come, let’s hear your opinion of the concierge of the Guantanamo on the Bay resort.

      2. Oh don’t forget to complain to Amnesty International as well cause according to Wikipedia: “In a 2005 Amnesty International report, the facility was called the “Gulag of our times.”” and I think that’s pretty close to what I am saying so obviously Amnesty International is also making a crass remark.

  2. It seems that eventually digital devices will become so sophisticated that their encryptions may be nearly impossible to crack. Then again, eventually devices may be designed that could circumvent these encryptions. Round and round we go.

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