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Apple defends stand in Brooklyn case on iPhone access

By AFP

Added 16th April 2016 06:41 AM

Apple said the government's interpretation of the All Writs Act -- a 1789 law that gives the courts wide latitude to help law enforcement -- was "soundly rejected" by the magistrate's ruling.

Apple defends stand in Brooklyn case on iPhone access

Apple said the government's interpretation of the All Writs Act -- a 1789 law that gives the courts wide latitude to help law enforcement -- was "soundly rejected" by the magistrate's ruling.



The case is one of several pending in US courts as lawmakers and others debate whether Apple and other tech firms should be required to help break strong encryption, which in many cases allows only the user to access data, with no "keys" held by the company.

Apple said the government's interpretation of the All Writs Act -- a 1789 law that gives the courts wide latitude to help law enforcement -- was "soundly rejected" by the magistrate's ruling.

"It simply is not the case that federal courts can issue any order the executive branch dreams up unless and until Congress expressly prohibits it," the brief said. "That construction of the All Writs Act has it exactly backwards."

The company also said such an order isn't needed because of the "likely minimal evidentiary value of any data on the phone" given that all defendants have pleaded guilty.

The latest filing comes with Congress set to take up a bill that would require tech companies to provide technical assistance to law enforcement to help break encryption.

The proposal is facing intense criticism from civil liberties activists and tech firms, while organizations backing law enforcement support the measure.

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