Apple appeals order to unlock iPhone, says it would "violate the Constitution"

The company's lawyers argue it would set a damaging precedent and open the door to more government surveillance

Apple filed court papers on Thursday urging a judge to overturn her order requiring it to unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in last December's San Bernardino attacks.

Forcing it to help unlock the phone would set a dangerous precedent that would undermine security for all its customers and open the door to more invasive government requests in future, Apple argued.

"If Apple can be forced to write code in this case to bypass security features and create new accessibility, what is to stop the government from demanding that Apple write code to turn on the microphone in aid of government surveillance, activate the video camera, surreptitiously record conversations, or turn on location services to track the phone’s user? Nothing," the company's lawyers wrote.

The government has argued that the software it's asking Apple to create will be used on only this one phone. That's is not true, the company argued.

"The government says: 'Just this once' and 'Just this phone,'" the company's lawyers argued. "But the government knows those statements are not true; indeed the government has filed multiple other applications for similar orders, some of which are pending in other courts."

"Once the floodgates open, they cannot be closed, and the device security that Apple has worked so tirelessly to achieve will be unwound without so much as a congressional vote."

Prosecutors argue the data on the iPhone is necessary for the ongoing terrorism investigation. The information could help investigators find collaborators of the mass shooters, prosecutors argued.

Apple said it strongly supports the efforts of law enforcement, but that the government's request is unsupported by the law and would "violate the Constitution."

If the judge declines to overturn her order, legal experts have said the case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags applefbi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?