The United States’ Department of Justice has savaged Apple for its refusal to assist the FBI by unlocking a phone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.
In a filing to the court presiding over the issue, the DoJ claimed Apple’s stance was both ‘false’ and ‘corrosive’ and argued Cupertino ‘deliberately raised technological barriers’ in order to keep the government out.
The DoJ writes (via Recode): “Apple deliberately raised technological barriers that now stand between a lawful warrant and an iPhone containing evidence related to the terrorist mass murder of 14 people. Apple alone can remove those barriers.”
Representing the government, US Attorney Eileen Decker said Apple’s public comments on the case have undermined attempts to safeguard liberty.
She says: “Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights: the courts, the Fourth Amendment, longstanding precedent and venerable laws, and the democratically elected branches of government.”
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Apple and the FBI will meet in a court on March 22, immediately following Apple’s big launch event a day earlier.
Decker went on to criticise Apple for asserting the FBI wants to create a back door in the iOS software, granting it access to all phones.
“That is a diversion. Apple desperately wants — desperately needs — this case not to be ‘about one isolated iPhone.’”
Earlier on Thursday, Apple VP Eddy Cue stoked the flames, claiming the FBI would seek access to iPhone cameras and microphones should it succeed with the unlocking request.
Meanwhile, whistleblower Ed Snowden alleged the FBI doesn’t need help to get into the iPhone at all, describing the assertion as “bullshit.”