In the recent spat in the Apple FBI (FBiOS) case, the Department of Justice has struck another blow with their accusation that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made a “deliberate marketing decision” to develop technology that renders search warrants useless.
In the file that was filed to the US District Court of Central California the Department of Justice claims that for that reason, a judge had to order Apple to build a custom version of their operating system the IOS so that it could be loaded onto Syed Farook’s phone, the iPhone 5C, which would allow the FBI to access data on the phone they claim is vital to use in their investigation.
This would also allow FBI agents to safely enter the passcode on the phone without putting on the passcode manually which when put incorrect for 10 times might wipe the phone permanently depending on the settings.
Apple however refuses to create a special operating system for the agency as they claim that it would set a dangerous precedence and if created the software might just fall in the wrong hands. There are lots of millions of people who use Apple products in America so creation of a service that could potentially gain access to your device whilst you don’t know or you don’t want is not seen as a good option.
Syed Farooq, the San Bernardino California mass shooter, killed 14 people in a mass shooting incident and hurt many more. The filing also said the following, “This burden [to develop the special iOS], which is not unreasonable, is the direct result of Apple’s deliberate marketing decision to engineer its products so that the government cannot search them, even with a warrant.” It goes on to say “In passing the All Writs Act, Congress gave courts a means of ensuring that their lawful warrants were not thwarted by third parties like Apple.”
The Department of Justice has tried to allay Apple’s fears saying that the order would only before one single case. “The court’s order is modest.it applies to a single iPhone, and it allows Apple to decide the least burdensome means of compliance.” The lawyers also write.
The filing also says “Apple deliberately raised technological barriers that now stand between a lawful warrant and an iPhone containing evidence related to the terrorist mass murder of 14 Americans. Apple alone can remove those barriers so that the FBI can search the phone and it can do so without undue burden. Under those specific circumstances, Apple can be compelled to give aid. That is not lawless tyranny. Rather, it is ordered liberty vindicating the rule of law.” The filing really hits its stride there.
Support from other technological companies for Apple has been pouring in positively with Microsoft, Amazon and Google coming out in support of Apple’s actions. However amongst security experts their critique is divided.