These Major Tech Companies Just Filed a Brief on Behalf of Apple
Expected to follow them: Everybody.
A slew of tech giants today filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of Apple in its fight against the FBI over iPhone encryption. Filing the brief were Airbnb, Atlassian, Word Press operator Automattic, CloudFlare, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, GitHub, MeetUp, Mapbox, Medium, Squarespace, Twilio, Twitter, and Wickr.
While the tech press monitors the legal maneuvers by Apple and the FBI in the matter of what to do with an iPhone that belonged to a San Bernardino shooter, Apple’s supporters have been lending their support. Now among them are Reddit, Airbnb, Square, and eBay. If it were a high school clique, then Apple has a dugout’s worth of beautiful popular kids coming to its defense.
Today, Twitter lent its own momentum to the encryption apologist tech companies, filing a formal amicus brief with a group of several other companies, explaining why they side with Apple’s decision not to assist the FBI in gaining access to the phone. This amicus brief will join similar filings from AT&T and Intel, and other prominent tech companies are expected to make their voices heard soon.
The reasoning behind Apple’s non-involvement is that a countermeasure designed to break security on one phone could too easily be adapted to break security on other phones. If Apple helps the FBI reclaim the shooter’s phone, the company is on some level leaving even innocent people vulnerable to potential surveillance down the road.
Among members of the tech community, the popular view on this topic is that the government needs to collaborate with the tech sphere more often with respect to encryption, which is becoming an ever-more-important component to our digital lifestyles, and there is untested territory ahead that ought to be navigated cooly. Delivering a remarkably eloquent stump speech to this end, I can’t believe it, here’s Marco Rubio:
So there you have it: Apple had the vocal support of many in the tech community, and now it has the support of one more, by way of formal court brief.
Here’s the actual document, uploaded by the Daily Dot: