Over the heated battle between Apple and the FBI over the laws and ethics surrounding unlocking the phone of the San Bernadino shooter, many companies have publicly come out in support of Tim Cook and his company’s desire to keep privacy secure at the device level. Today, according to Re/code, 16 of those companies have officially voiced support in a brief to the Department of Justice.
Airbnb, Atlassian, Automattic, Cloudflare, eBay, GitHub, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Mapbox, Meetup, Reddit, Square, Squarespace, Twilio, Twitter and Wickr banned together to support Apple, and called out the FBI’s desire to use the All Writs Act to unlock phones:
By circumventing the procedures adopted by Congress, and thereby overturning the careful weighing of policy considerations they reflect, the government is seeking to enlist the judiciary in re-writing laws without engaging in an essential public debate.
The brief comes after a congressional hearing this week that debated the merits of unlocking phones in times of terrorism at the expense of the privacy of the smartphone-owning public. Although the FBI has maintained throughout the legal battle that it was an outstanding case and not a precedent, the hearing acknowledged that the implications stretch far beyond a single phone.
Both Apple and FBI want legislation by congress to address privacy at the hardware level — on opposite viewpoints, naturally. The case should be decided by next week.