In a novel twist in the FBI versus Apple iPhone case, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office has filed a motion (full text below) to submit an Amicus Curiae brief, stating that, among other things, the phone could harbor a “lying dormant cyber pathogen.” Of course, there’s no such thing as a lying dormant cyber pathogen, but why let a little thing like the facts get in the way of a good argument?
Full Explanation of Court Order to Apple to Unlock San Bernardino Shooters’ iPhone and Apple Refusal (Full text of court order and Tim Cook’s letter included)
Late yesterday afternoon a Federal court ordered Apple to assist the FBI in their investigation into the San Bernardino shootings by unlocking the iPhone belonging to the shooters. In response, this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a public statement in which Apple refuses to comply, explaining the reasons that even if Apple can comply with the order, they will refuse to do so.
Latest in Apple FBI iPhone Wranglings: Just 1 Phone Turns Out to Already be at least 12 Phones (plus Full Text of FBI Motion)
As we recently reported, the FBI (and so the Federal government) is trying to force Apple to assist them in unlocking the iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. A Federal court ordered Apple to do so, and so far Apple has resisted. Part of the heart of the FBI’s argument is that this will affect only one phone, while Apple has insisted that it’s much larger than that – that an order to help unlock one phone will lead to a dangerous precedent of being ordered to help unlock any number of phones. The Feds have steadfastly insisted it is “just this one.” However, recent court filings have revealed that in fact there are as many as a dozen iPhones in other cases just waiting for Apple to be ordered to unlock them.
In Round 2 of the Apple iPhone FBI court dispute, in which the court ordered Apple to alter the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, the Feds have filed a Motion to Compel Apple to comply with the order, in which they mention, in passing in a footnote, that the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (SBCDPH) actually changed the password to the iCloud account to which the phone was backing up, thwarting any further backups of the phone’s data, between the time it was recovered from Farook’s vehicle, and handing it over to the FBI.
In the latest round over the Feds’ effort to force Apple to help them break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, and Apple’s refusal to do so, Apple has come out with both fists up. The Feds most recent court filing accuses that “Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights.” In response, Apple’s general counsel, attorney Bruce Sewell, said during a press conference call that “…it seems like disagreeing with the Department of Justice means you must be evil and anti-American.” (Full text below.)