Apple is drawing support from unlikely sources in its fight against the FBI. Among the companies that have sided with the company include Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft that the Cupertino giant would have otherwise been wrangling with over competing products and services.
That is not all as 15 of the most influential tech organizations in the US have come together in support of what Apple has been standing for, protecting user’s privacy at all costs. That is evident in the amicus brief that these companies filed and sought to quash the court order that seeks Apple to develop means to allow the security agency to have access to the iPhone 5C, used by one of the terrorists involved with the December massacre in San Bernardino, California.
The company shared the common man’s as well as the security agencies’ concern for tackling crime and extremism but has stated in unequivocal terms that should not come at the cost of privacy of the general populace.
Apple has stated owing up to FBI’s demands would amount to a breach of trust that its users have bestowed on them. This would equate to creating a solution that aims to bypass the stringent security measures that they have adopted on their phone which in turn, also happens to be among the biggest USP of current-gen iPhones.
These companies also accused the government of its double standards when it comes to enhancing cyber security. While it has been asking companies to adopt cyber security measures to prevent theft or unauthorized access to user’s or industrial data, its security arm is asking companies to create what is being seen as a backdoor to access data on a device.
The government security agencies, for its part, argued that what they are seeking is one of the cases, and while they uphold the virtues of encryption and privacy of user’s data, the same should not act as a shield for criminals and terrorists to get away with their acts.
They also stressed the need for a fair amendment of the All Writs Act, which is outdated and does not take into account the technology scenario currently prevailing in the US. Apple had earlier argued its subjugation to the All Writs Act, which was enacted almost a century before Alexander Graham Bell had made the first phone call or half a century before the telegraph was invented is grossly unfair.
Among companies from Sillicon Valley that have expressed support to Apple include Amazon, Box, Cisco Systems, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Yahoo. All of them believe the outcome of the ruling will be important in that if it goes in favor of the government, they will have to entertain such requests to breach security measures on their devices on a fairly regular basis.
In a separate brief filed before the court, 16 companies expressed solidarity with Apple. These companies include Twitter, Airbnb, eBay, LinkedIn, Square, Atlassian, Automattic, Cloudflare, GitHub, Kickstarter, Mapbox, Meetup, Reddit, Squarespace, Twilio, and Wickr.