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Right Hooks

The Government Has More Phones for Apple to Crack

The FBI waited for the ideal case to pressure Apple.

Dan Gilmore · Feb. 24, 2016

Further proof that the FBI was waiting for the ideal case to come along that would put political pressure on Apple to break the security measures it placed on the iPhone: According to a letter unsealed by a federal court, the government is ordering Apple to help it break into nine other phones in separate investigations. Forget the false narrative that the FBI wants to breach just one phone this one time. Already, the New York City Police Department has 175 iPhones waiting in the wings if Apple decides to write code to break its product.

However, as part of its defense, Apple will argue that writing a computer program that does what the government wants is a violation of the First Amendment. As one of Apple’s attorneys, Theodore Boutrous Jr., said, “The government here is trying to use this statute from 1789 [the All Writs Act] in a way that it has never been used before. They are seeking a court order to compel Apple to write new software, to compel speech. It is not appropriate for the government to obtain through the courts what they couldn’t get through the legislative process.”

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