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Apple Fights for Their Constitutional Rights
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iphone password

Summary: Using a First Amendment and All Writs Act argument, Apple is fighting back against the government’s attempts to force the company to create software to break into password protected devices.

Apple Inc. is not backing down after a judge ordered the technology giant to assist federal agents with the San Bernardino investigation. Apple filed papers in a Riverside federal court claiming the federal government is taking away their First and Fifth Amendment rights. The company has been ordered to create software to break the encryption on a iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino attackers.


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Apple believes the judge is not only overstepping her authority but also violating their constitutional rights. Obeying the order could leave all iPhone users vulnerable to “hackers, identity thieves and unwarranted government surveillance” due to weakened privacy.

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The motion read: “This is not a case about one isolated iPhone. Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld: the ability to force companies like Apple to undermine the basic security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe.”

Apple’s argument for the First Amendment is based on their view that writing the software is like speech. They also argue that the law does not require an innocent third party to “provide decryption services to the FBI.” The government has complained several times about not being able to examine encrypted devices for evidence in other cases so Apple is fearful that the government is trying to find a way to change this by using the San Bernardino case as a cover.

Apple’s motion explained this, “As news of this Court’s order broke last week, state and local officials publicly declared their intent to use the proposed operating system to open hundreds of other seized devices – in cases having nothing to do with terrorism. If this order is permitted to stand, it will only be a matter of days before some other prosecutor, in some other important case, before some other judge, seeks a similar order using this case as precedent. Once the floodgates open, they cannot be closed.”





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