The battle between Apple and the FBI is just getting started. A historic legal fight between Apple and law enforcement is heating up. All because of one iPhone. But the impact of this case goes way beyond one phone. It could shape the future of all computer security determining if corporations can be ordered to do hacking and computer forensics at the government’s request.
Apple filed a formal legal response to the court order that it needed to help the FBI unlock an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. The 65-page filing opposed the order with Apple arguing that the court is violating it’s constitutional rights under the first and fifth amendments.
Apple says what the government is asking it to do It’s too dangerous, and is a boundless interpretation of the law. Apple’s lawyers argue that this will not be a one time situation. This isn’t about giving the government a secret master pass code that it had all along. Apple was asked to have it’s own engineers to write a new type of software to put on the phone to break in. And Apple argues That writing computer code is as protected as free speech since this code will be destroying the secure product that Apple has created.
Silicon Valley is coming together to support Apple on this.Microsoft’s chief legal officer has said “Microsoft wholeheartedly back Apple in a fight, and that it’s going file an amicus brief to the court in support.” Facebook, Twitter and Google also said they would do the same. At an annual investor meeting held on Apple’s campus Friday CEO Tim Cook told shareholders in attendance that He’s not afraid of a fight with the Feds, and the 500 or so shareholders in the room were giving standing ovations to Tim Cook, showing support to Apple.
So, what is next?
The government can respond to Apple’s objections by March 10th, and Apple could then respond with another statement by March 15th. Then a federal hearing on March 22nd, which is rumored to be the same day Apple is expected to announce a brand new 4-inch iPhone, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and new Apple watch bands (Which was originally to be announced on the March 15th March). So that’s the day to watch.
So interesting times ahead for Apple and the smart phone as a whole.