Last week the Department of Justice filed a response to Apple in the ongoing case concerning whether or not Apple should unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen. At the time, Apple called the filing a “cheap shot” and said it was meant to “vilify” the company. Now, Apple has officially filed a formal response to the FBI’s submission. In the filing, Apple makes several assertions, including that the FBI is trying to “rewrite history” with its request.
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
Apple continues to argue in its latest filing, as it has done since the start of this case, that the All Writs Act does not give the government the power to force Apple to build a tool to unlock the iPhone in question. Apple says that instead of interpreting the Act as the “procedural tool that it is,” it is attempting to use it as an “all-powerful magic wand” by stretching it:
The government seeks an order here that is neither grounded in the common law nor authorized by statute. Indeed, the government has not pointed to any writ available at common law that would require a private non-party to perform burdensome forensics work, create new software, or compel speech to assist law enforcement.
Furthermore in the filling, Apple says that it is the job of the courts to “zealously guard civil liberties and the rule of law and reject government overreaching” and therefore deny the FBI’s request for Apple to unlock the iPhone 5c.
Apple also calls the fact that the FBI is asking the company to put its own beliefs aside to create the backdoor tool to unlock the device ‘deeply offensive’:
The government disagrees with Apple’s position and asks this Court to compel Apple to write new code that reflects its own viewpoint—a viewpoint that is deeply offensive to Apple.
Finally, Apple says that what the FBI is requesting would “appall” the Founding Fathers:
According to the government, short of kidnapping or breaking an express law, the courts can order private parties to do virtually anything the Justice Department and FBI can dream up. The Founders would be appalled.
Apple has also today submitted a statement from its head of software Craig Federighi:
“Apple designed the iPhone with users’ security in mind. It is my understanding that Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a ‘backdoor’ in any of our products or services,” he said.
The full filing can be read below and we’ll continue to update this post with notable quotes as we make our way through it: