Apple is poised to argue free-speech rights as a key legal strategy to fight a court order to unlock an encrypted iPhone. Kelsey Hubbard reports.
As the stand-off between Apple and the government over unlocking an encrypted iPhone, intensifies, a likely strategy for the tech giant is emerging. It appears Apple will seek to use the United States' protections of free speech as one of its key legal arguments to block a court order to unlock the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, according to legal experts. The company has hired two prominent free speech lawyers to help them fight the government's request. The FBI and prosecutors want to analyze the iPhone of Rizwan Farook for possible communications with Islamic terrorist groups. To do so, they want Apple to create a way to unlock his encrypted iPhone 5. Apple says complying with the government's request would set a dangerous precedent that could ultimately undermine the security of its iPhones. Michael Froomkin, a University of Miami law professor told Reuters the fight was very important for the company, because of: Quote "the possibility that a new forensic tool could be easily used on other phones and the damage that could be done to Apple's global brand if it cannot withstand government demands on privacy." Though not unprecedented, the strategy could be tricky for Apple since the free-speech rights would have to cover computer code. Apple has been given until February 26th to file a response to the court order to assist the FBI.