Almost the entire of Silicon Valley has already voiced their support to Apple in its ongoing battle with FBI over unlocking of iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist. And now, they have also legally filed an “amicus brief” in the court to show that they have aligned interests in the case and want their voices to be heard in the appeals.
The brief is signed by 15 tech companies which includes Amazon, Google, Cisco, Box, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Box, Evernote, Mozilla, Nest Labs, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Yahoo, and Slack.
The brief stated that these companies often compete with Apple and each other but are together for the “singularly importance” of this case about customer privacy which is crucial to all of them.
The group though expressed their solidarity for the act of terrorism showing support for the ongoing investigation, they also remained united against the government’s order to Apple for unlocking the iPhone.
“…amici are also united in their view that the government’s order to Apple exceeds the bounds of existing law and, when applied more broadly, will harm Americans’ security in the long run,” read the brief.
They further said that if Apple were to comply with FBI demands, it would lead to further legal troubles in other jurisdictions which will ultimately cause the tech industry to deal with unpredictable outcomes instead of relying on a uniform framework for the internet companies on providing security to customers.
The brief also stressed the importance of a public debate on this matter as American consumers would be cut out of the debate if the government agreed on bringing a law based on this case.
“And the American people as consumers are cut out off from the debate because they cannot select products based on company policies or security features if the government may override those policies and feature without notice,” the coalition said in the brief.
Individual companies which are a part of the group also expressed their concerns separately.
For instance, in a blog post titled “Standing Up with Apple to Fight for Everyone’s Security”, Chief Legal and Business Officer at Mozilla Denelle Dixon-Thayer wrote, “Opposing the FBI order is about taking a stand for public safety. It is the responsibility of technology companies to build as strong a product as possible to protect all users.”
She further stressed the importance of building “unhackable” products by tech companies which would no longer be possible if FBI gets its way in the ongoing case.
Similarly, Box Chief Security Officer Joel de la Garza wrote in a detailed blog post about the problem with creating a “backdoor” to iPhone, “Any backdoor — no matter how well-intentioned — is just as likely to help those who would commit crimes, or worse, commit violence, than it would those pursuing justice.”
He further said about the need for the whole industry to work together with Law Enforcement and Congress to draft a sensible legislation that “both maintains the security of our systems and provides Law Enforcement with the tools to fight crime.”