© Regis Duvignau / Reuters
In its last court filing before it squares off against the FBI in federal court in California next week, Apple said that the US government was trying to “stretch” the All Writs Act to fit its needs, but doing so would “usurp the legislative function and to improperly extend the limited federal court jurisdiction.”
“The government attempts to rewrite history by portraying the Act as an all-powerful magic wand rather than the limited procedural tool it is,” Apple wrote, referring to a 1789 law, which at the time was a part of Judiciary Act and that FBI relies on now while seeking the court’s help to compel the tech giant in its investigation.
Last month, the FBI obtained a court order, which required the tech giant to write new software to unlock the phone used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters, Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in a massacre on December 2.
“Thus, according to the government, short of kidnapping or breaking an express law, the courts can order private parties to do virtually anything the Justice Department and FBI can dream up. The Founders would be appalled,” Apple’s lawyers wrote.
They stress that the order requiring Apple to create software so that the FBI could unlock the iPhone “has no common law analog.”
“Indeed, the Order is akin to an injunction directing specific performance of a personal services contract, a remedy the common law specifically disfavored,” the lawyers wrote.... Read more