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.”