Speaking at a hearing today, Microsoft president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith announced that the company ‘wholeheartedly’ support one of their competitors, Apple in the long-running case between Apple and the FBI.
In case you’ve not heard about the ongoing battle, the FBI have ordered Apple to remove the security blocks that the tech giant has put into place on their devices in order for the FBI to be able to access it.
This has all been sparked by the incident where Farook Malik and his wife, Tashfeen killed 14 people in an attack last year. The FBI want access to the encrypted iPhone as it may have evidence to support the investigation.
Apple spoke at today’s hearing The Verge told us, Smith used an adding machine made in 1912 when the law was passed.
“We do not believe that courts should seek to resolve issues of 21st century technology with a law that was written in the era of the adding machine,”
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook spoke out too, he said that the decision to refuse the FBI was hard, but he feels that it was the correct thing to do.
The FBI has argued that Apple is overstating the security risk to its devices. FBI Director James Comey said Apple had the technical know-how to break into Farook’s device only in a way that did not create a so-called “backdoor” into every Apple device.
The law that has been used in this case is the All Writs act of 1789, of which the Department of Justice has used twice against Apple to open a smartphone. Both cases are still open. The law itself is very brief and broad.
“The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”
The act is one of last resort. All other avenues have to be exhausted before the All Writs Act can be invoked.