Apple tells NY judge FBI has ‘utterly failed&#eight thousand two hundred seventeen; to prove it needs assistance unlocking iPhones

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 1:37 AM

The ordinary fact that the feds  unlocked a phone without any assistance shows that they didn’t necessity it in the first place, Apple asserts: “The government has utterly failed to satisfy its burden to demonstrate that Apple’s assistance in this case is necessary.” What’s actually being argued is the FBI’s appeal of an order from U.

Apple tells NY judge FBI has ‘utterly failed&#eight thousand two hundred seventeen; to prove it needs assistance unlocking iPhones

Apple has powerful words for the Justice Dept in a document filed in a federal Ct case in NY where it's been asked to bypass an iPhone’s security. The ordinary fact that the feds  unlocked a phone without any assistance shows that they didn’t necessity it in the first place, Apple asserts: “The government has utterly failed to satisfy its burden to demonstrate that Apple’s assistance in this case is necessary.”

What’s actually being argued is the FBI’s appeal of an order from U. S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, filed at the finish of February.

The 50-page order absolved Apple of any obligation to assist the government in this case — but Orenstein also concluded that the All Writs Act, an 18th-century law presently being used to compel tech companies to unlock devices, is legally insufficient to be used in that manner:

Ultimately, the question to be answered in this matter, and in others love it across the country, isn't whether the government should be able to force Apple to assistance it unlock a specific device; it's instead whether the All Writs Act resolves that issue and many others love it yet to come. For the reasons set forth above, I conclude that it does not. The government’s motion is denied.

If such a precedent were to propagate and be adopted by other courts or supported in superior ones, it'd be a serious blow against the FBI’s skill to utilize All Writs as an all-purpose phone-opener, as it currently does in dozens of cases.

Apple continues swinging in its preliminary notes, taking the government to task for failing to create any attempt to utilize other methods to unlock the phone.

The government has made number showing that it's exhausted alternative means for extracting data from the iPhone at issue here, either by making a serious attempt to get the passcode from the individual defendant who set it in the first place—nor to get passcode hints or other helpful information from the defendant—or by consulting other government agencies and third parties known to the government.

And it gets its digs in on this implementation of All Writs as well, for the record.

While Apple strongly supports, and will continue to support, the efforts of law enforcement in pursuing criminals, the government’s sweeping interpretation of the All Writs Act is plainly incorrect and provides number limit to the orders the government could get in the future.  And that's precisely what the government seeks here:  to get an order that it can utilize as precedent to lodge future, more onerous requests for Apple’s assistance.

We’ll know soon whether U. S. District Judge Margo Brody will discover Apple’s stream of precedent-backed invective convincing.

Featured Image: Songquan Deng/Label Van Scyoc/Shutterstock

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