Apple Wants Congress to Settle Encryption Dispute

According to a report from the Associated Press, Apple will tell the judge this week that its fight with the FBI over privacy should be settled by the Congress, not by the courts.

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Apple will argue that the government invoking the 1789 All Writs Act in an attempt to force the company to comply with law enforcement agencies and crack open the iPhone involved in a terrorism case is “improper”.

Meanwhile, the Apple vs. FBI legal battle could accelerate efforts to engineer safeguards against government intrusion, tech industry executives interviewed by Reuters say. An Apple executive (speaking under the condition of being given anonymity) went as far as saying that the company would strengthen its encryption if it wins the legal battle against the federal government.

If Apple loses the case, however, it will create a legal precedent, which will allow law enforcement agencies broader authority to order tech companies to assist them in hacking their own customers.

In a separate report, Bloomberg has learned that Apple is preparing to argue in the federal court that code should be protected as speech and therefore protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, so the company cannot be compelled by law to comply.

The free-speech argument, however, will be a secondary argument in Apple’s response to the government that needs to be submitted by Friday. The company’s central case is that the government is overstepping its authority under the All Writs Act and will urge the court to tell Congress to settle the dispute.