advertisement

Apple files objections to order to unlock iPhone

[JURIST] Apple [corporate website] filed a brief [text, NPR] in the US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] Thursday in opposition of the US government's request for the company to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter [CNN report], Syed Rizwan Farook. Counsel for Apple called the case "unprecedented." The brief alleges First and Fifth Amendment concerns arising over a court order [text, PDF] issued earlier this month. The order was granted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website], to compel the company to create software that would unlock the device. Apple is arguing for free speech and a right to privacy under the First Amendment. Under the Fifth Amendment violation, Apple claims the order to be "highly burdensome."

The DOJ filed [motion, text] a motion to compel Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone [JURIST report] earlier this month. The FBI [official website] is seeking Apple's help to access Farook's phone, but the tech company has refused. In a letter [text] to its customers, Apple explained, "We are challenging the FBI's demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications." While the DOJ describes Apple's rhetoric as simply a "marketing strategy," the tech company has been joined by Google [NBC report], one of its largest competitors, in standing against the order. Complicating the situation, a report surfaced [ABC report] earlier this week that the iPhone in question had its iCloud password changed while in government custody. A California federal court has been scheduled to hear the motion on March 22.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.