Apple Gains Support of Over 40 Tech Companies in Court vs FBI
In the legal battle against the FBI over privacy and security, Apple has won the support of various tech companies and organizations. This morning, the iPhone maker has shared the full list of amicus briefs, which so far stands at six documents, but the New York Times has knowledge of about 40 companies and individuals which are expected to file court briefs on Thursday backing Apple in its fight.
Among the companies we find Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Snapchat, and Yahoo, but this is only a part of the upcoming amicus briefs: A further 40 individuals, including prominent security experts and academics, are also planning to sign briefs that will focus on themes such as free speech, the importance of encryption, and concerns about government overreach, says the NYT. Even Samsung – an Apple rival in the courts over patent disputes – has stopped for a moment to voice its support for the iPhone maker’s fight for customer privacy.
In an emailed statement to Bloomberg Samsung said:
“Protecting our customers’ privacy is extremely important, but we have not decided whether to file an amicus brief in the current case,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “Ensuring trust in our products and services is our top priority. Our phones are embedded with encryption that protects privacy and content, and they do not have backdoors. When required to do so, and within the law, we work with law enforcement agencies. However, any requirement to create a backdoor could undermine consumers’ trust.”
Support for Apple doesn’t come easily, as some tech players fear that Apple’s fight against the FBI could end up backfiring on the rest of the industry. Some voiced their fears, saying that if Apple loses the case, it could set a legal precedent forcing others to compromise their security in favour of law enforcement agencies.
On Monday Apple received good news: In a separate case involving an iPhone, a federal magistrate judge ruled against a government request to extract data from the device. This could have positive effects on the San Bernardino case for Apple.