United States, Washington: Apple has asked a federal magistrate in Washington to vacate her order that it helps the FBI hack into a locked iPhone.The company said in a court filing on Thursday that the FBI is seeking “dangerous power” through the courts. A week ago, a federal magistrate in California directed Apple to help the FBI hack into a phone used by one of the assailants in the December mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Earlier, Apple chief Tim Cook told ABC News that it would be “bad for America” if his company complied with the FBI’s demand and that he was prepared to take the fight to the Supreme Court. Apple has argued that doing so would make other iPhones more susceptible to hacking by authorities or criminals in the future. The filing represents Apple’s first official response to last week’s order.
The US Justice Department is proposing a “boundless interpretation” of the law that, if left unchecked, could bring disastrous repercussions for digital privacy, the company warned in a memo submitted to magistrate Sheri Pym. “The government says: ‘Just this once’ and ‘Just this phone.’ But the government knows those statements are not true,” lawyers for Apple wrote.
Apple said the specialised software the government wants it to build does not currently exist and “would require significant resources and effort to develop”, including the work of six to 10 engineers working two to four weeks. The magistrate judge suggested in her ruling that the government would be required to pay Apple’s costs.