CALIF — If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the U.S Government is once again trying to invade the privacy of many Americans including the two infamous shooters who wrecked a San Bernandino social services agency. Apple, who has notoriously and vehemently refused to cooperate with a federal court order to write code to unlock a phone belonging to a San Bernandino terrorist, has, cited that the feds cannot “force Apple to write code for any reason”.
The news comes just days after the Justice Department allegedly threatened criminal action against the company, who, they say is “undermining an investigation” into Farhook and their accomplice. To date, federal authorities have not been able to open any iPhone belonging to the terrorist couple.
What people and the government aren’t realizing is this. In Apple’s motion to quell the governments federal order, the cited their first and fifth amendment rights (this is where it gets interesting).
While many Americans are quite familiar with such constitutional rights, many, aren’t actually aware that code of any kind is actually considered a “form of speech”. Therefore, Apple’s denial of the order citing violation of their speech rights — isn’t quite far fetched after all.
Apple’s Tim Cook further denied the order citing that “fulfilling the governments order would become burdensome on Apple”.
“This is not a case about one isolated iPhone,” writes Apple attorney Marc Zwillinger in today’s brief. “Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld: the ability to force companies like Apple to undermine the basic security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe.”
The law that the government is using to compel Apple to open the iPhone in question, perhaps, is century’s old. The act, Known as the All Writs Act of 1789 is a judiciary style act that can allow courts to demand that third party’s assist federal authorities in situations similar to Apple ‘s refusal to open the iPhone. However, there are some limitations.
In the same law, no court can actually order a third party to do anything using the law — if any only if — a problematic burden is proven.