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An Apple lawyer says there is no middle ground in its battle against the FBI

March 2, 2016

The day after a congressional hearing regarding encryption technology, Apple is continuing to say that the legislature – not the courts – is the correct place to consider the issue.

'Force of great good'

'Force of great good'

In a new interview with Bloomberg, Apple lawyer Ted Olson said that the government lacks the power to force the company to unlock encrypted iPhones:

Apple has a responsibility to protect customers’ privacy, and the company has been a “force of great good in this country,” he said.

“You might have one court going one way and another court going another way,” Olson said. “If you do this on a case-by-case basis, you’re going to have different outcomes.”

Interestingly, Olson doesn’t envision any type of middle ground between the government and Apple’s position. He said the company is protected by the First Amendment:

“There isn’t a middle ground that I know of” to force Apple to “redesign its iPhone,” Olson, a lawyer for the company, told Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang in an interview Wednesday morning. “The Constitution does not allow the government to conscript private companies to invent products or to change the products that they have invented.”

Continuing the fight

Continuing the fight

The saga began last month when Apple was ordered by a California judge to assist the FBI to unlock an iPhone 5c used by terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. He was one of the shooters that killed 14 people during an attack at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health in late 2015.

A number of other tech company executives have voiced their support for Apple.

Another voice in support of Apple