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Apple files objections to San Bernardino phone order

[JURIST] Apple [corporate website] filed objections [text] Tuesday in the US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] against an order [text, PDF] requiring the corporation to aid the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI [official websites] in unlocking the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The appeal was filed in conjunction with an earlier motion to vacate. Apple says it is arguing to protect the privacy of all its customers, and the order would force the company to design new software for law enforcement to have the ability to access the encrypted iPhone. In a brief [text] filed last week, Apple called this case unprecedented, and said it would set a standard for infringing on freedom of speech. Fourteen people were killed in the San Bernardino attacks [CNN report] in December.

The DOJ filed a motion [text] to compel Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone [JURIST report] earlier this month. The FBI 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 is scheduled to hear the motion on March 22. Earlier this week a federal judge ruled in a separate case in New York that Apple could not be required [JURIST report] to disable the security of an iPhone that was seized during a drug investigation.

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