Apple files motion to vacate FBI's request to unlock San Bernardino shooter's iPhone

Apple has filed a motion to reverse a court order to hack into the iPhone owned by the San Bernardino shooter.

In a call with the press Thursday, an Apple executive called the version of iOS the FBI needs to access the phone “GovtOS”. Apple argues that the FBI would be able to use GovtOS to gain access to “hundreds” of iPhones it has from suspected criminals.

Apple says it wants to argue against the court order based on the First and Fifth Amendments. Apple is arguing that its First Amendment right to free speech is at stake. Apple wrote the code that encrypts the iPhone’s software, which represents its corporate values for customer privacy. Forcing Apple to do the opposite would be a violation of its right to free speech and expression, the company’s executives said.

Apple also says this is the first time the government has asked a company to intentionally weaken security systems, and that doing so would create a dangerous precedent moving forward.

On the call Thursday, Apple executives who requested anonymity echoed the company’s previous comments that the FBI is asking for unprecedented access to their software. The executives said that they have been unable to find any prior precedent set or analogous situation to what the FBI is demanding. This would be the first time such a request would be fulfilled under the All Writs Act, a decades-old law.

Apple says it would also need to create a forensic lab at its Cupertino headquarters for the government to use GovtOS, which the company believes is a burden it shouldn’t be forced to undergo.


Here’s the facts of the motion written in plain language:

Apple court fact sheet

 And here’s Apple’s full motion to vacate the court order:


Motion to Vacate Brief and Supporting Declarations



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