Apple Files Official Motion to Vacate Court Order, Says FBI Seeks 'Dangerous Power'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has officially filed a motion (via Re/code) to vacate the court order that would require the company to help the FBI hack into the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. "This is not a case about one isolated iPhone," reads the filing, going on to say the FBI is seeking a "dangerous power" that would undermine the security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of people.

    As expected, Apple argues that the All Writs Act, which the FBI is using in the case, does not give the government a pass to "conscript and commandeer" the company. "No law supports such unlimited and sweeping use of the judicial process," Apple writes. "And the Constitution forbids it." Apple believes setting a precedent for allowing the All Writs Act to be used in this way could lead to more insidious demands in the future, such as turning on the microphone or camera to aid in surveillance.


    Apple says FBI's demand for new code would violate its First and Fifth Amendment rights, as it is the equivalent of compelled speech and is contrary to Apple's core principles. Apple also points towards the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, using it as evidence Congress limited the assistance companies must provide to law enforcement.
    Apple says the government "sought to cut off debate and circumvent thoughtful analysis" by taking the case to the courts and invoking terrorism instead of pursuing new legislation. Once again, Apple says the FBI's demand to create new software that would allow it to brute force the passcode on the iPhone in question is "too dangerous to build" because it could fall into the hands of criminals and foreign agents.
    While the government insists the software would be used for a single phone, Apple points out that there are already multiple applications for similar orders. Assisting the FBI could quickly lead to additional orders using the case as a precedent should Apple be ordered to comply.

    According to Apple, creating the software the FBI wants would necessitate between six and 10 Apple engineers dedicating a "substantial portion of their time" for a minimum of two weeks and up to four weeks.

    It would require new code, detailed documentation, the development of encryption procedures, and rigorous quality assurance testing with the entire development process carefully logged. If the need should arise to respond to multiple demands, Apple would need to create "full-time positions" in a new "hacking" department.

    Apple ends its motion by calling for the decision on security to be made by American citizens through the democratic process rather than through a court order.
    Now that Apple has filed its official opposition, it will need to wait for a response from the courts. Should the motion to vacate be denied by the district court, Apple has pledged to take its fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple Files Official Motion to Vacate Court Order, Says FBI Seeks 'Dangerous Power'
  2. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    The proverbial shot heard around the digital world?

    Either way, here we go. The only question I have for everyone:

    Buttered popcorn, or nachos? Because this is going to be good. :p

  3. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    MacRumors has done a great job keeping up with this. Thanks.
  4. TechGod macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2014
    New Zealand
  5. yaxomoxay macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2010
    Which brand of beer?
  6. MRrainer, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016

    MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Not too long ago, the public and law-makers around the country urged Apple to secure its phones so they can't be used anymore in case they get stolen.
    Now, some of the same law-makers somehow want a way around the protections erected specifically at their behest...

    Not sure what Steve Jobs would do - he stayed out of politics as much as he could.
    But one thing is sure - if somebody could sway a court or a jury, he could.

    Though, to be fair, Tim also did very well in front of that Senate committee a while ago.
  7. thisisnotmyname, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016

    thisisnotmyname macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    Go Apple!

    Edit: so this could get really interesting if it makes it to SCOTUS and there's still an open seat. A 4-4 tie would defer to the lower court which makes whichever court of appeals this ends up in critical. One more fun twist in the current Scalia controversy.

    Edit 2: although I think it is inevitable that congress will attempt some form of legislation on this I still think that Apple stating that is the correct avenue is a bit like poking at the hornets nest. As much as I dislike the precedent this case potentially sets I see far more damage that could be done via legislation.
  8. Crosscreek macrumors 68020


    Nov 19, 2013
  9. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Nachos. Had pop corn last night.

    I'm glad to see apple not backing down on this. In a way it reminds me of apple of old. Take no crap.
  10. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    As well they should be. Extremely important case. An epic and watershed moment in our history.
  11. Cuban Missles macrumors 68040

    Cuban Missles

    Although I stand with Apple on this (as stated in various other previous posts), I am intrigued by the argument they filed. Some of their points are substantive in that they point to prior bills that did not pass, but at other times it seems to be less legal or substantive and very much opinion. how much of that is for the judge and how much of that is for the public?
  12. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    True story. This will go to the 9th Circuit. Advantage Apple.
  13. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Your description of CALEA is misleading at best. CALEA did pass and specifically prevents the government from demanding changes to hardware or software in telecommunications equipment.

    See the quote on Daring Fireball.
  14. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    well we know what Trump would choose
  15. GadgetDon macrumors 6502


    May 11, 2002
    Actually, I'd love to have read Scalia's writings on this. Yes, conservative and originalist - but in most cases very good for suspects and very reluctant and over-reaches by the government. I think he'd have ruled in favor of Apple.
  16. AppleInLVX macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2010
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  17. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
  18. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Well, if another judge dies shortly, it'll get interesting.
    They could make a Hollywood-movie out of that.
    Oh, wait...
  19. dannyyankou macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2012
  20. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Thanks for the heads up on the error -- fixing it now.
  21. tito2020 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2011
    Apple will lose feds stick together even in the court system.
  22. Lazy macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    "Apple ends its motion by calling for the decision on security to be made by American citizens through the democratic process rather than through a court order."

    That might be their strongest argument. In any case I'm all for them resisting in any way they can.
  23. phillipduran macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2008
  24. Rhonindk macrumors 68000


    Great to see this.
    Have been browsing some of the articles and news reports popping up and the variation in claim, detail, and importance is astounding. Most are treating it as entertainment, not news.
    Most posters here are actually far more factual and thoughtful than what is predominately being reported here in the US.
    Wow :confused:o_O
  25. MH01 macrumors G3


    Feb 11, 2008
    If apple folds all the sudden , and this turns out to be a PR stunt , I'll be very disappointed . I hope they go all the way with this.

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