Tech giants support Apple in encryption fight vs US government

Apple has support from the industry, according to a new court document filed on Thursday.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Apple's Tim Cook testify before the Senate Homeland Security Committee's in May 2013.

(Image: file photo)

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others have filed in support of Apple, in its refusal against a court's order forcing it to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, in official court documents filed late-Thursday.

The joint legal briefing from companies like Alphabet's Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others, voice support for Apple in its encryption battle against the US government.

The companies are uniting against the government on the grounds the All Writs Act does not compel Apple to comply with its request.

"The government's demand here, at its core, is unbound by any legal limits," the companies argue in a statement obtained by Recode. "It would set a dangerous precedent, in which the government could sidestep established legal procedures authorized by thorough, nuanced statutes to obtain users' data in ways not contemplated by lawmakers."

Airbnb, Atlassian, Automattic, Cloudflare, eBay, GitHub, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Mapbox, Meetup, Reddit, Square, Squarespace, Twilio, Twitter, and Wickr are also a part of the filing.

In a separate briefing the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 46 technology industry experts, "including inventors of modern cryptography," told the court forcing Apple to open a backdoor into the FBI's iPhone evidence violates the company's free speech rights.

"The court order is akin to the government dictating a letter endorsing backdoors and forcing Apple to sign its forgery-proof name at the bottom,'' said EFF Civil Liberties Director David Greene. "What the FBI asked the court to do violates free speech rights and puts the security and privacy of millions of people at risk. We are asking the court to throw out this dangerous and unconstitutional order."

Editorial standards