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  • Justice Department files "hostile" response to Apple's last brief

Justice Department files "hostile" response to Apple's last brief

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Justice Department files
Hoping that the third time will be the charm, the U.S. Department of Justice today filed its third brief with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, trying to get Apple to comply with a Court Order. The latest filing responds to some of the reasons Apple has given for not following with the Order to unlock the Apple iPhone 5c used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook. Apple says that to retrieve information from inside the device, it will have to develop a unique OS that it dubs "Govt. OS. Apple says that if it were to build such an OS and it gets into the wrong hands, every iPhone user in the world will be at risk of having any secure information stored in the handset, stolen.

The government writes that there is no reason to believe that the code for Govt. OS "will ever leave Apple’s possession. Nothing in the Order requires Apple to provide that code to the government or to explain to the government how it works. Far from being a master key, the software simply disarms a booby trap affixed to one door."

The filing also refutes Apple's claim that it could have backed up data to iCloud via a Wi-Fi network to give the DOJ what it wants, had the government not changed the Apple iCloud password belonging to the device. The new DOJ filing says that it was Farook himself who had made the change to the password three days after the final back up was completed. The FBI also said that when it received the phone, it was powered down which would have made it impossible to connect to Wi-Fi before punching in the passcode.

"The government and the community need to know what is on the terrorist’s phone, and the government needs Apple’s assistance to find out. Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights."-DOJ brief

Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell called the filing hostile, adding that "I don't think I've ever seen a legal brief more intended to smear the other side." Talking to the media, Sewell added "To do this in a brief just shows the desperation that the Department of Justice is now feeling."

Both sides will present their arguments before the judge on March 22nd, the day after Apple is holding a media event. During that event, we should see the company unveil the 4-inch Apple iPhone SE, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a refreshed Apple Watch.

For those who like to dress up and play attorney, the government's brief can be read below.

   Government Response to Apple Motion by Jordan Golson

source: Scribd via TheVerge, BGR

Story timeline

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posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:02 18

1. jellmoo (Posts: 2035; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Wow, what a load of tripe. Keep strong Apple. You're the good guys here.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:14 5

2. joeytaylor (Posts: 927; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

"Here, Apple deliberately raised technological barriers that now stand between a lawful warrant and iPhone containing evidence related to the terrorist mass murder of 14 Americans,'' the government argued. "Apple can be compelled to give aid. That is no lawless tyranny. Rather, it is ordered liberty vindicating the rule of law.''

"Ordered liberty"....really Orwellian there people.....I don't even know how the Government could udder those words

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:15 1

3. joeytaylor (Posts: 927; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:35 2

9. lyndon420 (Posts: 5002; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

Lmao. I liked your uncorrected version better.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:52 2

13. joeytaylor (Posts: 927; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:24 8

4. Pattyface (Posts: 1646; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)

Simply put... The government asking like a big baby when it doesn't get its way. Maybe stomp your foot a little louder.
Apple don't give into this horses**t excuse

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:25 8

5. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

For once in my life, I'm with Apple. I know there are a lot of American "Trump supporters" and whatnot on this site but I for one would just rather not have this can of worms opened. From what I understand the government already screwed up this investigation plenty anyway. And for those that think they would only use this for that "one terrorist incident" and never use this case as a set precedent in the future any time against anyone they felt like it I have a few bridges in NY and SF to sell to you people....

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:30 4

6. cripton805 (Posts: 1485; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)

Guess who isn't supporting Apple (This guy)

Now, we know whos side Apple is on. Its all a marketing scheme. They dont care. They just want the money. Teorrists can feel safe that their privacy is being protected by Apple.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:34 12

8. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

I don't know what a teorrists is but it's sad to know that if the government asked Apple to hand over your personal information you'd be ok with it. It's scary how you people are so willing and eager to just hand over your privacy to the government.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 20:13 5

18. cripton805 (Posts: 1485; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)

izim. they have probable cause. if you havent taken any classes in the way US criminal law works, then "like most of you" you wouldnt understand. they are not simply asking for a random innocent individual. we are talking about a terrorist murderer. ignorance at its best.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 20:17 2

20. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Yes. Ignorance at its best, indeed. I have a nice huge bridge in San Francisco for sale at a really great price. You interested?

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 20:31 8

22. greyarea (Posts: 263; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)

Have you taken any classes in how encryption works? If you did the must have skipped over a lot in the same way your "US criminal law" class skipped over setting precedence.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 02:02

34. roscuthiii (Posts: 2241; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

Have you? Or do you think encryption still works more like a wall than a vault door?
C'mon, if you've taken any kind of computer science or encryption courses, or even paid attention to Apple's business model, then you should KNOW that their walled-garden approach grants them complete authority to their products over the user.
Oh, and the fact that they developed the source code and the encryption algorithm themselves.
Apple claiming they'd have to make a separate "govt.OS" is Apple being disingenuous. They have all the tools at their disposal to unlock one without giving away a master key for all.
They could even do it in an air-gapped sandbox and download only the recovered data - not the OS or encryption key - to physical storage so the modified code never leaves their possession.
It's like what they tried to patent a tap as a zero-length swipe.

Also, you do know that not all precedents are binding, right? And, a higher court can ignore a lower court's ruling, or a same-level court can rule differently if they distinguish differences between cases.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 06:13 2

37. greyarea (Posts: 263; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)

Using different analogies doesn't doesn't change how encryption was implemented by apple, which now happens to be very secure. Or do you still assume that's not the case simply because, "the software engineers have to be able to gain access just in case a bug or glitch pops up that affects security and/or stability."?

I'm still waiting for your sources which I asked you for previously. Since I do have some familiarity with the subject it would be more helpful for you to point directly to those than attempting to middle man.

Unless you're willing to drop some previously unreleased insider info, your certainty about how easy and not at all risky it would be for apple to resolve this is still just opinion.

You do know it doesn't have to be bound to law to do damage, right? The highest court is literally tied up ATM so it would just fall back to the lower court anyway.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:42 6

11. lyndon420 (Posts: 5002; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

Doesn't matter if Apple is legit in this matter or not. What the government is asking is far and above what's necessary to retrieve the info from one phone. If Apple is forced into making this GoviOS it will need to remain under apple's tight control for situations they deem necessary...and through the courts if need be. Anyone who agrees with the government on this will be pretty much cutting their own throats and destroying any chance of our next generation's rights to privacy.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:56 2

15. greyarea (Posts: 263; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)

This is hardly the first time terrorists have taken advantage of encryption, it's certainly not the last. My hope from how much publicity this case is getting is that some people will learn a bit about encryption and the legal system going forward. Encryption will only get better and just the like the internet will be used for both good and bad purposes. Get used to it.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:32

7. lyndon420 (Posts: 5002; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

Maybe apple should make another precedenting move and offer a poll to their users to present to the judge. Does apple run the risk of going out of business due to a possible loss of customer support / brand loyalty on a mass scale? I say let the iPhone users decide by putting it to a vote.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:35 3

10. Chuck007 (Posts: 1306; Member since: 02 Mar 2014)

When America have gone from a nation of dignity, liberty and respect to one that is transitioning to nothing short of being a totalitarian Communist state... sad years ahead for everyone folks.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:51 2

12. Micah007 (Posts: 256; Member since: 09 Oct 2014)

I'll be sure to quote you years from now when that scenario for the umpteenth time has never come to pass.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:55 3

14. joeytaylor (Posts: 927; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

But it happens a lil every year

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 19:58

16. joeytaylor (Posts: 927; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

Bamboo torture

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 20:00 4

17. willard12 (unregistered)

That's a lot of great rhetoric and the internet conspiracy theorists will surely applaud you. But the article is about an agency going to a judge to obtain a court order to execute a search. That's pretty much the way things have operated since 1785. It probably happened 1000 times yesterday and 1000 times the day before that. A totalitarian state agent does not ask a judge for permission to look into the phone of a terrorist. I hope the fact that Apple is involved in this case is what is causing the exaggerations. But, the fact is, suspects get searched. They always have, they always will. The only difference is compelling Apple to act. That has to do with Apple's rights, not yours.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 20:14 1

19. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Dead suspects don't need warrants to be searched. They're not asking to execute a search. They already asked for help with that and Apple already told them it can't be done given current encryption software. They're demanding Apple build software to bypass that situation. You're oversimplifying a more complex situation that, in the end, could very well have a lot to do with your rights.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 21:22 2

23. willard12 (unregistered)

"The only difference is compelling Apple to act. That has to do with Apple's rights, not yours."

So , if the FBI could build its on GOVT.OS without Apple, then you'd be fine.

Without probable cause, property that once belonged to a dead person does indeed still require a warrant and the phone in this case actually belonged to the local government. So, it's only complicated to the simple-minded.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 21:49 2

24. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

If my grandma had a penis she'd have been my grandpa. If caterpillars had machine guns they wouldn't be afraid of birds. If. If if.. You're using a completely hypothetical and irrelevant situation to try and make your point. This is the government asking a locksmith to create a master key that opens every lock of a brand for them. What's to stop them from asking all the other locksmiths to do the same if they get backed by a court in the end? You're really ok with them having a key to your house because you're sure they won't ever use it? Would you be ok with it if they made one themselves? That's you're call. I'm personally not ok with it. This is about security and encryption here and if they were able to make their own OS to get in the phone I would also have a problem with it and expect Apple or google or whoever to make it more secure.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 21:57 1

25. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

And as for your law class it's only simple to the simple minded. They're not going to prosecute a dead person so you don't need a warrant unless someone living is involved. Which granted is the case in this situation my point is things aren't as simple as law and order has lead you to believe. And again the court filing is demanded the key, not the right to search. They already had that.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 23:05 2

27. willard12 (unregistered)

The judges (plural) must have watched the same episode of law and order as me since Apple has lost this case multiple times and are now looking to the Supreme Court. I'm okay with the 4th amendment of the Constitution being upheld and and law enforcement seeking, and being granted, a warrant to execute the search and a court order to compel a company to facilitate it. Freedom isn't simply the right to hide child porn and terrorist conversations on your phone. Freedom is also having the ability to go to an office Holiday Part with peace of mind that someone is trying to protect you from getting gunned down. You can gripe, but you can't name one violation of the Constitution. And that is what we live by. My reply was to a comment regarding a totalitarian state. But, everything has been done in accordance with the due process afforded by the Constitution. If that's a problem, then tell it to the judge.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 04:58 3

35. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

lol that's not what's happening, dude. There hasn't been a case. A court order is not a case and they haven't lost multiple times. Where are you getting this information from and who is this other person agreeing with you? Apple was ordered to assist in a case to help, they told them they couldn't, then the FBI asked the judge to tell Apple to make the special OS, apple has said the FBI is overstepping their authority, and now this. These are court filings not cases. No one has lost anything yet. And a judge going "ok yeah do this" doesn't mean they're in the right. We've had judges refusing to marry gays, a judge in Arizona told some parents a few years back they weren't allowed to talk to their kid in Spanish, there are a million instances of judges overstepping their authority. Apple isn't fighting against any part of the constitution and I completely expected you to try and use an extreme hypothetical situation to try and reason why you agree to potentially give up your own rights. You're letting your fears and emotions to be used against you. Again, and for the last time, this doesn't just potentially affect your pedophiles, terrorist, mass murderers, etc. This potentially affects everyone. This potentially will open the gates to have your constitutional rights violated. Again. As they have been in the past. You're being beyond naive if you don't think that's what will happen. If this isn't a problem at all for you as long as they get "the bad guys" then maybe a free country isn't the right place for you. You should maybe try Russia. I'm sure the government will try its hardest to protect your safety.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 23:06

28. RoboticEngi (Posts: 1057; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)

So they can help.....by making a special version of ios.....

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 05:03 2

36. izim1 (Posts: 1259; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Yes. Build a special version that will only be used JUST for that one instance... Ever... Lol sure.http://i.imgur.com/vYm1A.gif?noredirect

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