Tech industry groups, security experts back Apple

On February 16, a California federal judge ordered Apple to write a new version of its iOS software to help FBI bypass the security of a San Bernardino shooter's iPhone.

The cell phone that belonged to Farook, who shot dead 14 people in an "act of terrorism", ran with the iOS9 operating system which was developed by Apple without a "backdoor" to its encrypted data. "In this case, however, the government seeks to compel cooperation that was not intended by Congress, that may risk substantial harm to the security of millions of iPhones, and that put simply, is more than what can be supported under [existing law]".

"The government's position, if it prevails, will undermine the security of America's most sensitive data", states a filing from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo and ten other companies. "Apple can't build incredibly secure technology with zero weakness if the government is going to mandate they have access to that kind of data", said Levie.

Apple's supporters are concerned that if it is made to comply with the FBI's demands, it will set a precedent whereby any company or developer can be forced to load malicious software onto its products. Twitter, Reddit, Github, Ebay, and CloudFlare submitted a brief with 12 other startup companies, emphasizing the values of privacy and transparency in online services.

Government in February had obtained an order asking Apple to create new software to diable passcode protection. A similar demand "would be exceptionally onerous for the small companies that constitute the majority of ACT's members and that are the heart of the mobile economy", the group argued.

However, McAdam said the Apple case "presents unique policy issues that, in our view, should be addressed by the U.S. Congress".

"It is potentially a gift to authoritarian regimes, as well as to criminal hackers".

The public may be divided on whether to support Apple or the Federal Bureau of Investigation over their latest legal battle on encryption, but tech leaders and privacy groups are taking a clear stand with Apple.

"In order to fulfill their duties [law enforcement agencies] must have access to all reasonable means of procuring relevant evidence", wrote lawyers for the FLEOA, the APA and the National Sheriffs' Association. "Apple's refusal to provide assistance has far-reaching public safety ramifications by making it hard, and in some cases impossible, for law enforcement to fulfill its obligation to investigate crimes, protect the public by bringing criminals to justice, and enforce the law". If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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