February 25, 2016 8:13pm
In case you haven’t been following Apple news for the past couple of weeks, the company has been thrown into a legal battle with the American FBI over an iPhone and its encryption. The FBI has filed a court order to get Apple’s help to crack the security on an iPhone 5c involved in a mass shooting last fall, in order to extract any potential intelligence contained on the locked device.
So far, all signs in this case point to the FBI hoping to set legal precedent for getting Apple’s aid in bypassing security features on its devices, despite Apple’s best efforts to keep its users information safe in the event of such requests. This case is very complicated, and for some background on the story, I would strongly recommend Ben Thompson’s post on Stratechery on the matter.
Today, Apple has filed a motion to vacate the court order, in other words an official appeal that the order be dropped. The dense 65 page document outlines the legal implications of the case from Apple’s perspective, which purports that creating special software to help the FBI unlock this device would undermine security and privacy of all iOS users.
Interestingly, the FBI says it is only looking to use this power on the one iPhone in question, but in the last couple of days it has become clear that there are at least a dozen other iPhones from other cases that the FBI eventually hopes to access as well. This makes Apple’s argument that the case isn’t just about ‘one isolated phone’ much stronger.
At the moment, these are likely just the first steps in a long court battle between Apple and the FBI, but numerous tech companies have shown solidarity with Apple in this debate. It’s unclear exactly how the results of this case would affect iPhones in Canada and around the world, but the security of the iPhone, and all software, could be thrown into question should this court order be upheld.