The Department of Justice has now filed a motion asking a federal court to require Apple to help the FBI hack a cell phone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooter suspects. DOJ-motion-vs.-Apple
A federal magistrate gave Apple five business days to respond to her order, released on Tuesday, but the Justice Department decided not to wait. In its Motion, the DOJ argues that Apple should be ordered to help the government because it serves the ends of justice in a major terrorism investigation. The Government admits, however that there is no statute which addresses the particular issue, but it says the Court still has the power to act.
The government also argues that Apple’s recalcitrance appears to be based on nothing more than “its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy.Apple has attempted to design and market its products to allow technology, rather than the law, to control access to data which has been found by this Court to be warranted for an important investigation,” the Justice Department states. “Despite its efforts, Apple nonetheless retains the technical ability to comply with the Order, and so should be required to obey it.”
The FBI is not asking Apple to unlock the iPhone in question but instead to write a new software tool”îessentially a crippled version of its iOS software”ñto eliminate specific security protections the company built into its phone software to protect customer data. It would allow the FBI to perform a brute-force password-cracking attack on the phone in an attempt to unlock it and retrieve encrypted data stored on it.