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US DOJ Says Apple's Court Opposition is a 'Diversion,' and the Fear is 'Overblown'; Apple Responds

dgstorm

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The latest development in the ongoing feud between the United States Department of Justice (specifically started by the FBI) and Apple, just ratcheted up the inflammatory rhetoric. The DOJ responded to Apple's recent court filing in which Apple is attempting to vacate the FBI's order to open the San Bernardino iPhone.

The prosecutors representing the United States government called Apple's stance a "diversion," and claimed that Apple's fear of was "overblown." They also said that Apple's perspective was false and "corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights."

The DOJ doubled-down on their use of the All Writs Act to give them the authority to make this demand from Apple. Furthermore, the Government accuses Apple of "deliberately" raising technological barriers preventing the government from obtaining the data on the iPhone through a lawful warrant. The court document said, "Apple alone can remove those barriers so the FBI can search the phone, and it can do so without undue burden."

They also pointed out that Apple is "one of the richest and most tech-savvy companies in the world," and claimed that Apple is "more than able to comply with the AWA order." What's particularly egregious in the document is that the DOJ makes two contradictory arguments. On one hand, the DOJ reiterates their claims that this isn't about a "master key," and that this is simply about the one iPhone they need unlocked, even suggesting that there is no evidence a narrow order would apply to other devices in the future; however, they turn right around and contradict themselves by stating, if it does, Apple is "more than able to comply with a large volume of law-enforcement requests."

Of course, Apple's legal chief Bruce Sewell, responded by speaking with reporters. He seemed almost shocked by the DOJ's legal brief. Sewell called it a "cheap shot" and said that the brief's tone "reads like an indictment." Here's a further quote from Sewell's statement,

"In 30 years of practice I don't think I've seen a legal brief that was more intended to smear the other side with false accusations and innuendo, and less intended to focus on the real merits of the case. [...]

We add security features to protect our customers from hackers and criminals. And the FBI should be supporting us in this because it keeps everyone safe. To suggest otherwise is demeaning. It cheapens the debate and it tries to mask the real and serious issues. I can only conclude that the DoJ is so desperate at this point that it has thrown all decorum to the winds...."

What do you folks think? Did the Department of Justice go too far in vilifying Apple with such harsh legal language?
 
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scifan57

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The whole DOJ rhetoric is an attempt at diversion. They don't want the public thinking too hard about the consequences of what they're asking Apple to do and what it means for electronic security worldwide. To them, the mere fact that they want something is in and of itself a justification to use any means possible to achieve their goal.
 
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dgstorm

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Yeah... it's as if the leadership of the FBI is a petulant child that is psychologically "displacing" their own bad behavior onto Apple. Just bizarre!
 

KevinJS

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I like the "more than able to comply" bit. Apple is also big enough to give the DOJ the finger and to keep doing it. Every reasonable person will one day thank Apple for their stance. We may be seeing the turn of the tide, when governments and their agencies had their wings clipped; not before time.
 

scifan57

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Government is supposed to serve the will of the people, not the other way around.
 

scifan57

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bear7962

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I think the DOJ didn't want Apple to respond publicly because the more the American public is exposed to the facts, the more they side with Apple. Initially many indicated that Apple needed to comply with this investigation but as they heard more about it, they began to side with Apple. DOJ is trying to swing public opinion their way after it previously backfired on them.
 

Flintlock

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It's sad that so few Americans are even familiar with using encrypted email.

It's so out of public consciousness that no one has even brought up the issue with regard to Hillary's email.
 

bear7962

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I like the "more than able to comply" bit. Apple is also big enough to give the DOJ the finger and to keep doing it. Every reasonable person will one day thank Apple for their stance. We may be seeing the turn of the tide, when governments and their agencies had their wings clipped; not before time.
I was just watching Last Week with John Oliver on HBO. His topic this week was this topic. If you have access to HBO it's worth a watch, I think. If you don't get HBO it will probably be on You Tube soon.
 

scifan57

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scifan57

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If the iOS source code was turned over to the FBI, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Apple stock value would disappear.

If the FBI succeeds with Apple I fully expect the FBI to go after every single tech company that employs encryption in any way.
There's no way that they could argue against this being an undue burden on Apple.
 

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