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Twitter, eBay, Airbnb, Reddit and More Officially Supporting Apple in FBI Fight [Updated]

Sixteen technology companies today teamed up to officially support Apple in its ongoing encryption dispute with the FBI, a copy of which has been shared by Apple. Twitter, Airbnb, eBay, LinkedIn, Square, Atlassian, Automattic, Cloudflare, GitHub, Kickstarter, Mapbox, Meetup, Reddit, Squarespace, Twilio, and Wickr filed an amicus brief [PDF] backing Apple's assertion that the FBI's use of the All Writs Act to force Apple to help the government unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook is both unprecedented and dangerous.

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The government's demand here, at its core, is unbound by any legal limits. It would set a dangerous precedent, in which the government could sidestep established legal procedures authorized by thorough, nuanced statutes to obtain users' data in ways not contemplated by lawmakers."
The filing, which urges the court to vacate the government's motion to compel Apple to unlock the phone, argues that handling user data in a "safe, secure, and transparent manner" that protects privacy is of the "utmost importance" to protect consumers from hackers and other wrongdoers, while also recognizing the government's "important work" in law enforcement and national security. It says the companies oppose forced backdoors, but will continue to comply with "proper and reasonable" requests for data.

Dozens of technology companies, industry trade groups, and encryption experts have been submitting documents to support Apple, all catalogued on Apple's website. AT&T, Intel, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed separate amicus briefs this morning, as did the Consumer Technology Association in partnership with the Business Software Alliance [PDF], a group that includes Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, and Autodesk.

Other amicus briefs have come from Access Now and the Wickr Foundation, ACT/The App Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a group of cryptography experts including Jonathan Zdziarski.

More amicus briefs are expected to be filed throughout the day, including one from a consortium that includes Google, Nest Labs, Facebook, WhatsApp, Evernote, Snapchat, and Mozilla.

All "Friend of the court" or amicus briefs supporting Apple are due by Thursday evening to give Sheri Pym, the judge presiding over the case, time to read through them before a court hearing. Apple is set to face off against the FBI in court on Tuesday, March 22.

Update: As expected, another consortium of technology companies that includes Google, Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and Yahoo has submitted an amicus brief in support of Apple.

Additional amicus briefs have been filed by the Center for Democracy & Technology, The Media Institute, Privacy International and Human Rights Watch, a group of 32 law professors, and a consortium including AVG Technologies, Data Foundry, Golden Frog, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the Internet Association, and the Internet Infrastructure Coalition.

Five families of San Bernardino victims have filed in support of the FBI.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Apple-FBI


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

20 weeks ago
Even the family of a Muslim victim of the shooting in San Bernadino are siding with Apple...

(Salihin) Kondoker, whose wife, Anies, was shot three times at the holiday party where Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people, appealed personally to Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym, arguing that the decision in this case is not just about the FBI’s investigation.

“When I first learned Apple was opposing the order I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock,” he wrote ('https://www.apple.com/pr/pdf/Letter_from_Salihin_Kondoker.pdf'). “But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand their fight is for something much bigger than one phone. They are worried that this software the government wants them to use will be used against millions of other innocent people. I share their fear.”
Rating: 32 Votes
20 weeks ago
Oh, and Oculus said they will support Apple in the ongoing dispute when they improve their graphics hardware.
Rating: 17 Votes
20 weeks ago
I wonder if FBI will join these companies too.
Rating: 13 Votes
20 weeks ago

I never said anything about surrendering my rights. I would reply, but the words would be wasted.


Because the words would be hollow. There have always been men like you, born with the benefit of a free society of laws, and spineless enough to give them away rather than make difficult decisions, ready to sacrifice a good that is real and material and present even now for a potential good later. If you accept that, that's your decision, but don't you dare bloviate at me as though my intractable desire to protect the rights guaranteed each of us, even you, is somehow a mark of stupidity.
Rating: 12 Votes
20 weeks ago
That is a lot of support to hide people's p*rn.
Rating: 10 Votes
20 weeks ago

This had to have been one hell of a meeting up at the Olympic Club in San Francisco!

Notice that Microsoft nor Google are on the list.


Yes they did:

Dozens of technology companies, industry trade groups, and encryption experts have been submitting documents to support Apple, all catalogued on Apple's website ('http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2016/03/03Amicus-Briefs-in-Support-of-Apple.html#labnol'). AT&T ('http://www.attpublicpolicy.com/government-policy/congress-not-the-courtsshould-decide-apple-case/'), Intel, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed separate amicus briefs this morning, as did the Consumer Technology Association in partnership with the Business Software Alliance [PDF ('http://images.apple.com/pr/pdf/BSA_The_Software_Alliance_the_Consumer_Technology_Association_the_Information_Technology_Industry_Council_and_TechNet_2.pdf')], a group that includes Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, and Autodesk.

More amicus briefs are expected to be filed throughout the day, including one from a consortium that includes Google, Nest Labs, Facebook, WhatsApp, Evernote, Snapchat, and Mozilla.
Rating: 10 Votes
20 weeks ago

I have very mixed feelings on this issue. I don't think Apple should be forced to write software for the government. I'm more bothered by that than I am by the idea of decrypting the phone. No doubt this is one of the main reasons so many companies are supporting Apple. Once the government can demand that Apple write code for them, they can demand it of anyone.

That said, the idea that we, as a society, should accept that phones, computers, and other digital devices protected by strong encryption are 100% private zones is like saying we should allow rooms the government may never, under any circumstance, access in a home. We're essentially saying that the individual's right to privacy trumps EVERYTHING. I was listening to Sam Harris the other day and he calls the obsession with privacy a new religion, one he deems just as dangerous as existing God-based ones. I can see his point.

If the FBI knows that X is a pedophile and has shoeboxes full of kiddie porn pictures in a room at his house, should they not be allowed to serve a warrant and search the home? Should X have the right to an unsearchable room in his home? What if X is found dead and the only way to bust the child porn ring is by searching that room? I think most sensible people would find it absurd not to search the room. But, instead, X has all of his child porn on his encrypted phone and there's no way to access it, even though the need is completely legitimate. I find this very troubling.

The only sensible way forward that I see is for companies like Apple to become key masters, something they, understandably, don't want to do. If they don't move in that direction, however, government will start to legislate and it will be a disaster. If Apple provides unbreakable encryption on their phone, they should store the key and be able to provide it when served with a legal search warrant. If they do this, they short-circuit the need for legislation. Otherwise we are guaranteed to see a day when every tech company, every online service, must log everything and somehow provide the government with access. And when that day comes, the burden will be far more onerous and loss of privacy far greater than if these companies got proactive now and came up with a reasonable solution.

Why do you believe that there should be no opportunity for privacy for an individual? Encryption can be done by the individual on their own pc making it inaccessible by anyone other than you. You are entitled to do that. The FBI want Apple to give them a means to ignore your wish for privacy.

There will always be unanswered questions when investigating something like a terrosist attack as there will always be something out of reach or some other Unknown. The problem is that the FBI believe they are entitled to whatever information they ask for, making your rights secondary to their ego and their career ambitions. I'm obviously not against preventing acts of terrorism but this is a big price to pay for very very little gain.
Rating: 9 Votes
20 weeks ago

Even the family of a Muslim victim of the shooting in San Bernadino are siding with Apple...

(Salihin) Kondoker, whose wife, Anies, was shot three times at the holiday party where Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people, appealed personally to Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym, arguing that the decision in this case is not just about the FBI’s investigation.

“When I first learned Apple was opposing the order I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock,” he wrote ('https://www.apple.com/pr/pdf/Letter_from_Salihin_Kondoker.pdf'). “But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand their fight is for something much bigger than one phone. They are worried that this software the government wants them to use will be used against millions of other innocent people. I share their fear.”


This is why the nation is divided on this issue in a nutshell - ignorance. Its even worse when so many people only look at news and article headlines and don't read the damn articles.

Even he understands that there is probably nothing useful on this phone anyway. I know the FBI knows there is probably nothing on the phone either - but this isn't just about one phone.
Rating: 8 Votes
20 weeks ago

Update: Additional amicus briefs ('http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2016/03/03Amicus-Briefs-in-Support-of-Apple.html') have been filed by the Center for Democracy & Technology, The Media Institute, and a group of 32 law professors. Five families of San Bernardino victims, meanwhile, have filed in support ('http://recode.net/2016/03/03/families-of-san-bernardino-victims-want-apple-to-help-fbi/') of the FBI.

So basically ... a bunch of people that still think this case is about the one phone are in support of the FBI. Yay ignorance!
Rating: 7 Votes
20 weeks ago

. . .
It's not just pictures and words. It's a person's life. It's a kid whose entire life is destroyed. What kind of utterly broken human being can't see that?
. . .


Fear is a powerful motivator. You are the perfect citizen, willing to give anything and everything away to protect the children. The part you don't understand is that if we don't give into the fear, the government will find other ways to get their job done.

By the time it is on the phone, the damage has been done. None of this, as related to data on the phone, protects anyone, except the government, unless you give the government the OK to read every email, every text message, every document, etc. before needing a warrant. In fact I will say it right here, what kind of "utterly broken human being" would not want the government to have full access to all devices all the time. Think of the crime they could prevent.
Rating: 7 Votes

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