Google has now joined more than twenty other tech companies and filed an amicus brief with the US federal court, supporting Apple in its fight against the FBI regarding the unlocking of an iPhone used in the San Bernadino terrorist attack.
Google filed a joint brief with firms like Facebook, Microsoft and Snapchat. A separate brief was also filed this week by Twitter, Airbnb and others. Google explained the reasoning in a blog post, but never mentioned Apple by name.
The firm argued that the current FBI case would set a troubling legal precedent. The FBI has claimed the All Writs Act of 1789 gives it the power to force Apple to help unlocking the iPhone concerned, but Google argues that using that legal means could set a bad precedent.
“The key question is whether the government should be able to use the All Writs Act to force private companies to actively compromise the safety and security features that we all build into our products. These are the same security features that we all develop to keep people safe from identity thieves, hackers, and other criminals. A bad precedent here could let governments compel companies to hack into your phones, your computers, your software, and your networks”.
Meanwhile last month Sundar Pichai and Hiroshi Lockheimer of Google both expressed support for Apple, focusing on the ‘troubling precedent’ argument. The search giant’s own blog post is also quite vague, but does make it clear that the firm supports Apple and doesn’t believe the All Writs Act permits the government to force Apple to unlock the device.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.