Justice Department cites Apple as “having raised technological barriers” in San Bernadino iPhone unlocking case

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Date: Thursday, March 10th, 2016, 22:52
Category: Archive, iPhone, security, Software

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This is probably the next step in the escalating war between Apple and the Justice Department.

The Justice Department on Thursday issued a statement claiming Apple’s rhetoric of privacy protection in the San Bernadino iPhone 5c unlocking case to be “false”.

Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a court order requiring Apple to write new software and take other measures to disable passcode protection and allow access to shooter Rizwan Farook’s iPhone.

Apple has yet to comply, stating that the government’s request would create a back door to devices that could not be removed from existence and could be used by criminals and governments. Apple added that Congress has not given the Justice Department the legal authority to make such a demand.

Apple has also attacked the FBI investigation as “shoddy” and portrayed itself as “the primary guardian of Americans’ privacy,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday.


The Justice Department offered the following statement:

“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: the courts, the Fourth Amendment, longstanding precedent and venerable laws, and the democratically elected branches of government,”

Prosecutors added that Apple “deliberately raised technological barriers” to prevent execution of a warrant.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Justice Department’s new filing.

The FBI says Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were inspired by Islamist militants when they shot and killed 14 people on Dec. 2 at a holiday party. The couple later died in a shootout with police and the FBI said it wants to read the data on Farook’s work phone to investigate any links with militant groups.

Tech industry leaders including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, along with more than two dozen other companies, have filed briefs in the last week supporting Apple. The Justice Department, in turn, has received support from law enforcement groups and six relatives of San Bernardino victims.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for March 22 in a Riverside, California federal court. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said he is willing to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department also objected to claims made by Apple and other tech companies that the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) of 1994 limits when companies could be forced to comply with orders for intercepting communications.

“CALEA did not deprive this Court of its power to issue the Order,” the filing reads. “Congress’s intent in passing CALEA was not to weaken existing judicial powers,” it said.

Prosecutors also criticized claims by Apple that developing the new software code would be burdensome for the company. They noted Apple “grosses hundreds of billions of dollars a year” and would only need ask a handful of its 100,000 employees to work on the project for “perhaps as little as two weeks.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Yahoo Tech

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