The FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into a terrorist’s iPhone has done the seemingly impossible by getting Microsoft, Google and Apple all on the same team.
Many of the country’s top tech firms have revealed that they will file friend-of-the court briefs in defense of Apple’s position that no company should be compelled by the government to break its own security and thus put the public safety of millions of users at risk.
Microsoft has been one of Apple’s biggest rivals for decades, but Brad Smith, the company’s chief legal officer, said it will file an amicus brief in support of Apple at next week’s congressional hearing on the balance between citizens’ right to privacy on personal devices and the war on terrorism.
Google will also defend Apple’s position, according to a BuzzFeed report. Amazon is working on amicus brief options, too, and social networking giants Twitter and Facebook are getting in on the action as well.
In an interview last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook told ABC that the FBI’s demands to create a backdoor into the recovered iPhone of San Bernardino mass killer Syed Rizwan Farook would be like creating the software version of cancer. The FBI has insisted that it’s only trying to get Apple to unlock this one iPhone, but several other courts are waiting to see how Apple’s battle with the FBI plays out in hopes of being able to request more iPhones be unlocked.
The companies supporting Apple have until March 3 to file their amicus briefs. Cupertino is set to make its first congressional appearance on the matter March 1, when Apple’s general counsel Bruce Sewell faces off against FBI Director James Comey during a hearing on encryption.