Apple accuses FBI of using All Writs Act like ‘magic wand’


Bruce Sewell
Apple's legal team has lobbed its latest response at FBI.
Photo: House Committee on the Judiciary Hearings

Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell said the FBI threw “all decorum to the winds” in its latest federal court filing, but in the company’s official response today it has vowed it does not “intend to response in kind.”

The iPhone-maker says in its latest filing that the FBI’s claim that it exhausted all viable investigative alternatives is false because it improperly reset the iCloud password before consulting Apple. The company also admits that it didn’t take a public stance on privacy and encryption until the release of iOS 8.

Today’s filing will be the final time Apple responds before it meet the FBI in federal court on March 22nd. Apple says in its filing that even though the FBI’s request to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone comes amidst great tragedy, the court should still deny the order, claiming it violates the company’s First Amendment rights.

“It is in just such highly-charged and emotional cases that the courts must zealously guard civil liberties and the rule of law and reject government overreaching. This Court should therefore deny the government’s request and vacate the order.”

Apple ultimately argues that the government’s motivations to unlock the terrorist’s iPhone and potentially gain access to more terrorist information is understandable, “its methods for achieving its objectives are contrary to the rule of law, the democratic process, and the rights of the American people.”

You can read the full 33-page response below:

Reply Brief in Support of Apple’s Motion to Vacate (1) by Kif Leswing


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