To say that tensions are running high in Apple’s standoff with the federal government over the company’s role in assisting the FBI in an ongoing terror investigation would be a bit of an understatement. Both sides are framing their conflict in the most serious terms, as law enforcement stokes fears of imagined “cyber pathogens” and Apple suggests the government’s request puts millions of iPhone users at increased risk of security breaches. Two weeks ago we saw Apple file its formal response to the court’s motion compelling its assistance, and as we look forward to the court ruling on the issue in a couple more weeks, the DOJ is firing back with its own filing, attacking Apple’s stance.

The prosecutors behind the filing attack Apple for not simply complying with the initial order, and question the company’s self-appointed role in protecting the privacy of Americans. They write:

“Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights: the courts, the Fourth Amendment, longstanding precedent and venerable laws, and the democratically elected branches of government.”

The tone of the document is very much one critical of Apple attempting to make an issue out of this order in the first place; it’s almost as if the government is less interested in addressing the privacy concerns Apple brings up, and more about lambasting Apple for daring to steer the conversation in that direction in the first place.

Apple gets its day in court on March 22 – one day after the company’s big hardware event.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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