Apple, US govt to face off in court over iPhone privacy

March 21, 2016 7:36 am
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The company says that in deciding the case, the court must take into account the "broader context" which touches on the larger debate over data privacy/AFP
The company says that in deciding the case, the court must take into account the “broader context” which touches on the larger debate over data privacy/AFP

, LOS ANGELES, United States, Mar 21 – The US government and Apple will face off in court on Tuesday in a closely-watched case that could have wide-reaching implications on digital security and privacy.

The crucial hearing before a federal judge in Southern California focuses on the battle between the tech giant and federal investigators who want help from Apple to unlock an iPhone linked to one of the shooters in the December terror attack in San Bernardino, California.

Overview
  • Apple, backed by a broad coalition of technology giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, argues that the FBI is seeking a "back door" into all iPhones as part of the probe into the December 2 massacre that left 14 people dead.
  • It also contends that the government is overstepping legal bounds by using a statute called the All Writs Act, which dates back to 1789, in order to force Apple to hack into the iPhone in question.

“It’s a fight over the future of high-tech surveillance, the trust infrastructure undergirding the global software ecosystem, and how far technology companies and software developers can be conscripted as unwilling suppliers of hacking tools for governments,” wrote Julian Sanchez, a surveillance law expert at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington.

“It’s also the public face of a conflict that will undoubtedly be continued in secret, and is likely already well underway.”

READ: In Apple vs FBI case, compromise appears elusive

Apple, backed by a broad coalition of technology giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, argues that the FBI is seeking a “back door” into all iPhones as part of the probe into the December 2 massacre that left 14 people dead.

It also contends that the government is overstepping legal bounds by using a statute called the All Writs Act, which dates back to 1789, in order to force Apple to hack into the iPhone in question.

The company says that in deciding the case, the court must take into account the “broader context” which touches on the larger debate over data privacy.

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