Justice Department: Apple obligated to assist FBI

by Kevin Johnson and Jon Swartz  |  published on March 11, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department asserted Thursday that Apple Inc., has sought to advance “false” arguments that threaten privacy breaches on a massive scale in the tech giant’s opposition to a court order requiring the company to help the FBI gain access to the iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook.

“The court’s order is modest,” Justice lawyers argued in the government’s latest defense of a California federal magistrate decision. “It applies to a single iPhone, and it allows Apple to decide the least burdensome means of complying…The order does not compel Apple to unlock other iPhones or to give the government a universal master key or back door.”

The Justice filing, which intensifies the rhetoric in an already pitched legal clash between privacy and national security interests, said that Apple’s opposition is based on arguments that are “corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights.”

“Here, Apple deliberately raised technological barriers that now stand between a lawful warrant and iPhone containing evidence related to the terrorist mass murder of 14 Americans,” the government argued. “Apple can be compelled to give aid. That is no lawless tyranny. Rather, it is ordered liberty vindicating the rule of law.”

  • bones1941

    The FBI caused the problem they are having when they changed a password on that phone . So how is Apple suppose to help out here ? The FBI came out and said they caused the problem . Now they want to know how to screw with all the Ipads ? Yours and everyone else’s..

  • ADRoberts

    False argument” Is that like them going after those people who refuse their “global warming” spiel or they will put you in jail.
    Folks, with Loretta Lynch in charge, we are going into a dictatorship.

  • graylens

    Look at the damage Islamic terrorists have done over the years. Because of them we are searched when we enter a public or gov. buildings. We are searched when we go to a football game, baseball game etc. Our emails, phone calls are inspected and recorded. We spend billions of extra hours before we fly. going thru security. Our privacy is invaded

  • George Matyas

    why do we the need the NSA, its a cell phone and all incoming and out going numbers are recorded by the phone company for billing purposes. So the FBI all ready knows everything it needs. The real problem, is that the county government doesn’t know what promises where made to people that, that phone was used for. Shame on the Gov for not keeping a digital trail of all obligations that were made. It sounds like the gov needs to learn how to use the tools it uses for official business?????

  • GrizzMann

    While in FBI custody the password was changed. Now it is Apples fault and they have to fix it. To whom does that make sense?

  • Robert Early

    The murderous FBI is the New American Gestapo. Until the criminals in their ranks are brought to justice, my friends and I will not trust any of them. Lynch is merely an agent of evil.

  • Pam

    1. I absolutely LOATHE Soetoro’s Department of INjustice and Lynch is as big a traitor as Soetoro, Holder and the rest of them.
    1A. I have a libertarian streak, myself and DESPISE “big government”, but I can recognize that we, as a nation, are under an islamic attack which threatens our very existence.
    2. Anyone who uses a telephone or the internet or goes to a doctor for any reason and still believes they have ANY PRIVACY, is naive, at best.
    3. Apple has ALREADY complied in over 700 cases to open encrypted phones of criminals.
    4. In other countries, when their governments say “open this phone”, Apple says – how soon do you need it and how many copies would you like.
    5. The phone in question was NOT owned by the muslim pig, it was owned by the county! The county has ALREADY SAID “OPEN IT”.

    • George Matyas

      The phone was for “official use only” , so why was the user not fired for using gov. property for personal gain or use. Also why did the county not have digital recording of all gov activity????? the problem is with the gov not properly its property

  • Danny

    Once the Fed’s know that Apple could develop a key..there would be no stopping them…we would all be at risk of losing more of our privacy

  • reggie

    Heil oh holy justice-for whom Dept. Land of the free. Give the phone to Apple, let them break the code, extract the information then reinstitute the code. Gee, our so intelligent intelligence dept ain’t so intelligent after all.

    • Warpaint

      We have NEVER gotten the best and brightest in civil service, just political hacks

      • reggie

        You said a mouthful there. I worked a short time for the Feds, a short time for 2 different states and got out. Some of the stunts they pulled would put the rest of us in jail.

        • Warpaint

          I did some contracting for the feds and what would take us (private industry) 90 days and 2 million to do, it took 300 days and 3 million to do the feasibility study to DO the project. I could not handle that kind of crap I expect and demand results, they do not.

          • reggie

            The bottom line is that they have to use up every last penny in a fiscal year so that they can ask for a larger budget for the following year. Gotta keep the cronies in clover. People who wouldn’t make it in private industry gravitate to the government. The governments loves them, they robotically do the minimum, and don’t think.

  • Warpaint

    This one time I stand with Apple, Tell Lynch to screw, I though the nsa and the BILLIONS we spend on then could break any encryption so is this just a dog and pony show?

    • 7papa7

      You got to realize also that the lies and deceit from government on the NSA spying proves that Apple must stand tough. The one thing I could go along with is that Apple gets the phone downloads it, gets any information that would be useful for national security and turn that information over to the FBI in a hard copy so that they in no way could possibly get any kind of back door. We do need to be concerned with national security but we also need to be even more concerned with privacy. I would like to see Apple have there encryption done through a random generator so they have no idea what that encryption is and makes it unbreakable.

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