Tech Companies Flock To Support Apple From FBI

Companies backing Apple include Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, Reddit, WhatsApp and Dropbox. Here’s what you need to know.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

Apple is receiving widespread support from the tech world for its refusal to comply with an order from a California judge who said that Apple should help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the killers in the San Bernardino mass shooting in December.

Some of the biggest tech companies in the industry have filed court statements backing Apple in its battle. Among the 17 allied tech firms filing a federal court brief on Thursday were Twitter, Airbnb, LinkedIn and eBay. AT&T and Intel each also filed, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 46 technologists, researchers and cryptographers. Companies planning to file by the deadline, which is today, include Mozilla, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Snapchat.

Mozilla chief legal officer Denelle Dixon-Thayer told USA TODAY, "(The government request) is an overreach, it is asking a tech company to undermine years of security." Apple’s reasoning is that writing new software in order to override encryption on the San Bernardino iPhone would create a digital opening into numerous other iPhones that governments and criminals could exploit.

"This case isn’t simply about letting the FBI pick the lock to a dead terrorist’s phone. It’s about whether governments can conscript private companies to disable security features built into their devices," said Ron Bell, general counsel at Yahoo.

“The FBI’s job is to investigate crimes and they see the world through that lens, understandably,"

Director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, Jennifer Granick, explained that the FBI’s job is to investigate crimes and that they see the world through that lens. “But,” she said, “there are a wealth of other important American interests beyond that, such as privacy, cybersecurity, human rights violations and American companies’ ability to do well economically on a world stage.”

Th Consumer Technology Association and the Information Technology Industry Council wrote in a pro-Apple brief that"a company cannot be compelled to develop a new product—here, new software that does not now exist—particularly when it will create security risks for all users of the company’s products."

Here’s what Jesse Ventura has to say about the Government infringing on the privacy of its citizens:

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

Continue the Discussion