On Feb. 16, 2016, a U.S. magistrate judge ordered Apple to create software that would allow the FBI access to data on the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernadfino, Calif. shooters. Apple CEO Tim Cook responded with a statement asserting that his company would not comply with that order, saying that creating the technology would put all iPhone users in danger of data infringements, not just the terrorist’s.
This stand-off has taken center stage in the ongoing legal battle between government and technology companies. Nick Klinefeldt, partner in Faegre Baker Daniels’ White Collar practice and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, and Terri Combs, partner in financial services litigation, shared their thoughts with The Des Moines Register.
“This is the next battle in what has been an ongoing war since Edward Snowden and the Supreme Court saying you needed a search warrant to access cellphones,” Klinefeldt said. He added that it is unusual for the government to ask a company to create something new, in this case software to unblock a phone.
Combs commented on whether this order will set a precedent. “Even if Apple doesn’t comply,” she said, “there is now a ruling out there that someone can cite to.”