Apple has now responded to a Department of Justice filing that we reported earlier today was attempting to force the company to comply with an FBI request for access to a locked iPhone belonging to a suspect in the San Bernardino attacks. In one statement to Reuters, an Apple spokesperson said the DOJ is “disregarding civil liberties in iPhone unlocking case,” while in another it attempts to explain more of the back story regarding past events with the iPhone in question. 

CNBC reports an Apple exec called the motion “a way to argue the case twice before Apple can respond,” a response to the fact that the DOJ’s motion filed today comes ahead of Apple’s deadline to respond to a judge regarding its original refusal to unlock the device in the case. CNBC adds that in response to claims in the DOJ filing, Apple said it “has not said that unlocking an iPhone is technically possible.”

Now that the DOJ has exposed a lot of the background story in the case in its earlier filing, Apple is offering its side of the story.

Here’s a longer version of Apple’s statement relayed by unnamed executives to various medial outlets, this time via BuzzFeed:

The Apple ID passcode linked to the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists was changed less than 24 hours after the government took possession of the device, senior Apple executives said Friday. If that hadn’t happened, Apple said, a backup of the information the government was seeking may have been accessible…

The executives said the company had been in regular discussions with the government since early January, and that it proposed four different ways to recover the information the government is interested in without building a back door. One of those methods would have involved connecting the phone to a known wifi network.

So Apple is arguing that the Apple ID of the iPhone was changed after the government took possession, meaning the FBI could have had access to the data it’s seeking.  Apple adds that otherwise it previously proposed solutions that wouldn’t include building a the “backdoor” the FBI is after.

Apple also reportedly responded to the DOJ’s claims that Apple’s refusal on the requests were a marketing ploy, according to BuzzFeed, “saying they were instead based on their love for the country and desire not to see civil liberties tossed aside.”

And while Apple is calling up media outlets to give its response to the filing, TheHill reports Tim Cook and the head of the FBI were today invited to testify before a House committee.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.