Tags: apple | unlock | iphone | at&t

AT&T Backs Apple in Government Fight Over Unlocking IPhone

Image: AT&T Backs Apple in Government Fight Over Unlocking IPhone

Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 07:00 PM

AT&T has come down strongly on the side of Apple in its battle against the government's efforts to force it to create software to bypass iPhone security mechanisms.

On Thursday, the telecom giant filed a "friend of the court" brief with the magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, urging the court to vacate the order that would require Apple to develop new code to help the FBI access data on an iPhone used by an attacker in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings last December.

AT&T said that Congress, not the courts, should decide whether the public interest in compelling companies to assist law enforcement to the extent the government is seeking in this case outweighs privacy concerns.

"Without question, the government should use every lawful means to investigate those crimes, and that includes compelling Apple's cooperation to the full extent permitted by law," David McAtee, AT&T senior executive VP and general counsel, wrote in a blog post. "In this case, however, the government seeks more than what can be supported under the law as it is written today. The solution is for Congress to pass new legislation that provides real clarity for citizens and companies alike."

Verizon, the nation's biggest wireless carrier, does not currently have plans to file a brief in the case, according to a rep.

Related FBI Director Defends Legal Effort to Force Apple to Unlock iPhone

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, in a post Monday on LinkedIn, said the company is not "taking sides on the Apple case specifically."

However, McAdam said the Apple case "presents unique policy issues that, in our view, should be addressed by the U.S. Congress."

"In particular, there may be legitimate reasons for preventing the destruction of data, such as the investigation of terrorism and serious crimes," McAdam wrote. "These conditions must be strictly defined by law, not arrived at haphazardly on an ad-hoc or case-by-case basis, as in the Apple case." In any event, Verizon opposes putting tools for directly accessing private data in the government's hands.

Apple has steadfastly opposed the judge's order and last week filed a motion requesting that it be vacated. The company argued that the "unprecedented" move violates the U.S. Constitution. CEO Tim Cook has called the prospect of writing code that would defeat iPhone security "the equivalent of cancer."

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
AT&T has come down strongly on the side of Apple in its battle against the government's efforts to force it to create software to bypass iPhone security mechanisms.
apple, unlock, iphone, at&t
391
2016-00-03
Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 07:00 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved