Microsoft, Tech Giants File Brief in Support of Apple in iPhone Case
Microsoft, Google, Facebook and several other influential technology companies file a friend of the court brief backing Apple in the San Bernardino iPhone case.True to its word, Microsoft joined 14 other tech companies to file an amicus, or friend of the court brief supporting Apple in the San Bernardino iPhone case. Apple is fighting a court order to assist the FBI in unlocking an encrypted iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the suspects in the December mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. CEO Tim Cook said the order amounts to a demand by the government to create a backdoor into iOS. Last week, during a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing on law enforcement requests for cross-border data, Microsoft's top lawyer Brad Smith, revealed that his company had plans to file an amicus brief backing Apple's position. On March 3, Microsoft made it official. The Redmond, Wash., software giant joined a who's who of technology companies to file the brief with a U.S. District Court in Riverside, Calif. Microsoft aside, the 14 other companies are Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Mozilla, Nest Labs, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo.
Echoing the arguments made in the filing, Smith said in a March 3 blog post that the basis for the court order issued in support of the FBI’s request is well past its prime in this era of mobile devices and cloud technologies. The statute was enacted in 1789 and "significantly amended" for the last time in 1911, noted the Microsoft executive.