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Google, Facebook and Twitter will reportedly file court motions supporting Apple in fight with FBI

Google and Facebook will both reportedly put their official support on Apple's side in its current fight against the FBI.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Several top tech companies, including Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc., are preparing to file motions in support of Apple Inc. in its court fight with the Justice Department over unlocking an alleged terrorist's iPhone, according to people familiar with the plans of the companies.

Microsoft president Brad Smith said earlier today his company will be filing its own amicus brief supporting Apple in this case.

Update: According to Re/Code, Twitter is planning to throw its support behind Apple with a legal filing as well. The report also mentions that the coalition of tech supporters may file one amicus brief together, rather than as individuals.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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74 Comments
  • I wonder how the Feds are gonna act when the tables are turned and they're the ones being ganged up on lol
  • By crying. It's what they usually do. Posted via the Android Central App
  • We always lose.
  • It's not gonna matter. Courts will side with the feds. Posted via the Android Central App (Motorola Nexus 6 - US Cellular)
  • The American people already think Apple is being bad by letting the terrorists win. They'll just think the rest of the tech companies are bad too. Corporate greed and all that other sh**.
  • Glad you spoke to all Americans to confirm that statement.... I must have been absent for the survey cause I don't think they should unlock the phone. At least not the way they want them too. There is no way I need the government having anymore back doors into anything.
  • "All" meaning a representative majority. Most people I talk to are all for Apple cracking the phone. At least until I start laying the issues out for them. Posted via my HTC One M7
  • I don't think anecdotal evidence is the same as representative majority.
  • Maybe you'll feel differently when some of your loved ones die in a terrorist attack that the federal government was unable to stop, because their surveillance was curtailed due to paranoid Americans thinking they have the right to personal privacy over national security. I'm not paranoid, and I have a working brain in my head. I'm able to think for myself & come to logical conclusions. I don't think the U.S. government is tracking my every move, and listening to my every conversation. I don't think that Ninjas placed controlled charges on the support columns of the twin towers, unseen by ANYONE, in order to facilitate a U.S. government plot to murder thousands of U.S. citizens. I don't think Obama had Antonin Scalia murdered. I don't think JonBenét Ramsey never died, and is now really Katy Perry (LOL, that's the latest one I heard, just yesterday)! I do think Edward Snowden is NOT a national hero, but is instead a traitor. I'm sorry, but Apple is arrogant (as usual) and just plain wrong in this case - national security trumps the right to personal privacy ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. Anyone who thinks Apple is doing this for Americans' rights, and for their customers, is also wrong. They're taking the stance they're taking solely to protect their business model, and not tarnish their image. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wow. This comment is clearly in favor of a police state in which we give up all rights and freedoms for the illusion of security. As our forefathers have been quoted saying, "Those willing to trade their freedom for security deserve neither and will lose both."
  • Must be an Android user.
  • They don't care. At this point they think they are above all. Ooooh everyone files a paper against them.... Imo not gonna do anything. It's awesome that they are all ganging up, but I just don't see it meaning anything when it all comes down to it unfortunately
  • This should be interesting.
  • How come on Criminal Minds they can crack a phone in 5 minutes ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • +6 Lam I Am
  • Does the number chosen relate to your username? LOL AT&T Galaxy Note 3
  • They can create something in VBScript to deal with guys behind seven proxies.
  • Because Penelope Garcia is a boss. Posted via the I don't care what kind of phone you have.
  • Yeah she's a badass. Posted via the Android Central App (Motorola Nexus 6 - US Cellular)
  • That's a long time, on every other show, Like Arrow, Flash, and other SciFi shows it's about 30 seconds. You mean your show doesn't have a small super-computer in the cell phone or laptop with pre-programmed quantified software that cracks any code in under a minute?
  • Public relations move. All these companies have been giving up information before. They acting like this is new. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Big difference between small amounts and massive amounts. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Big difference between a warrant to search someone's cloud based email and forcing a company to write a piece of malware that will compromise all their devices. This is far from just a public relations move, this is an important and long overdue moment to decide if encryption is a right.
  • It's both. This will set a horrible precedent, and any company that backs the FBI on this has lost my business and support. But of course they all will publicise their stance to look good. And there's nothing wrong with that.
  • Agreed, my point being this isn't *JUST* a PR move. Obviously Cook is working to sway the court of public opinion to the stand he's chosen (quite rightly IMO) to take, but Apple didn't do this just to get fans. I guess what shocks me, is if you believe corporations are people, the FBI is essentially forcing a person to create a weapon, which seems pretty antithetical to a free market philosophy. But then, I would wager the vast majority of Americans don't understand what this really is and the implications of a compromised OS are. As Cook said on ABC, there are no back doors just for the good guys.
  • You're right in a way. But the FBI wants apple to be the backdoor only unlocking if there's a warrant for that specific phone. What is wrong with that? They get a warrant for your home, they can break into your safe but not your phone? Give me a break. They are trying to keep your cell phone separate from everything else. That's what this is about. Nothing else. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Have you not read the numerous articles? The backdoor would NOT be for ONE device, but for ALL of them -- such is the nature of the beast that the FBI is asking Apple to create. Also, they get a warrant for your home -- do they force the safe manufacturer to open the safe by creating a master code that would work on ALL of their safes? No, they simply bring a guy with a blowtorch and hope to hell it doesn't damage the safe's contents (or burn down the house), but they DON'T force the manufacturer to weaken the security of their safes.
  • Yes for all apple devices. But only unlocked with a warrant. And if they can't get into a safe, you bet your ass they would go to the manufacturer to do it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Actually they call someone in who will drill a hole in the door and do some other magic that let's them in. Then they don't reimburse you when they find nothing unless you fight in court.
  • So true Posted on my Galaxy s5
  • Great analogy!
  • Actually they all have backdoor combos etc...even old style
  • Few note that this was a work phone. If 'work' had properly managed its equipment, the IT department should have no trouble unlocking, changing the password or otherwise managing their own equipment. The ultimate fault here is the San Bernadino IT department.
  • Resetting the icloud password was so dumb.
  • +1
  • This. I've had lengthy conversations about this, and why mainstream press doesn't seem to ever say anything about it. You can bet yer butt that if this were happening to an Android phone, I'd crank out a "Incompetent IT department forces FBI to reach too far" post.
  • Damn good point. Posted via the Android Central App (Motorola Nexus 6 - US Cellular)
  • You're incredibly misinformed here. All the FBI is asking Apple to do is to bypass the "self destruct" feature of iOS 8 (I think that's the version; I've never owned any Apple products - well, an iPhone 6 Plus, for ONE night - so, I'm not totally sure about that), so the FBI can use a brute force attack to crack the password (on ONE, SINGLE DEVICE, I might add). They've stated they'll compensate Apple for the time/resources spent on this; that Apple can retain any software created for this purpose, and they can have the iPhone in question, after the FBI is finished with it. You're listening too much to Tim Cook's propaganda. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Citation needed.
  • Giving info about specific accounts is one thing (still not right but way less offensive) but this would be giving the government the keys to get into any iPhone in the world. Once they have that, how long til they ask for one for Android
  • Good.
  • That phone in question was a company (govt) phone. Not a personal phone. It was given by the San Bernardino health dept. There is a govt law that phones given out for work use by a govt agency "must. Not. Be. Locked." Hope they crush apple. If because of this bullshit one of my family members dies, i will personally gouge Tim cooks eyes out with a spork. Nuff said. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's not Apple's fault it's locked. Your comment about the phone shouldn't be locked isn't their issue.. If that policy is in place then it should be up to the employer to monitor and police that.
    My employer hands out phones. Passwords need to be submitted and they have software on the phones too to monitor use. Don't create a policy then complain to Apple that the employee didn't follow it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • None of you guys get it. You either don't want the police to see the drug pictures or pictures of farm animals. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That was either the funniest troll I've read in awhile, or the most misguided thing I've ever heard. so ... +1 or WTF? Whichever fits :)
  • It's a WTF. Posted via the Android Central App (Motorola Nexus 6 - US Cellular)
  • You know, either way, it's an honor to have you reply to one of my posts! Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, the exact OPPOSITE is true -- gov't devices MUST be locked according to whatever guidelines that particular department dictates. In fact, many agencies disallow devices that cannot be secured. Now, if there's a master passcode (or whatever) that the IT organization set up, then that's fine, but the onus for unlocking is not on Apple or anyone else other than the IT dept.
  • You are kind of correct. The phone in question must be unlockable by IT. At any time, if police or execs need it to be. So therefore the company or police can have access at any time or place. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And that's the job of the IT department to set up the phone with the required policies and monitor them so they can access it when needed. It's not up to the manufacturer to add a backdoor that hackers could then use to illegally access anyone's phone.
  • The problem is that it's a back door that could let them into ANY iPhone they want at any time. The case has gone beyond this one phone.
  • Will be most interesting if a sleeper cell hits Twitter, Apple, Facebook etc and it may have been prevented. Who would the blame then fall on? It baffles me that we hold "tech" companies in such high regard and the US government is so bad. It's a damn shame. These POS's used a government issued device to communicate about the slaughter of 14 innocent US citizens. (and their plans included many, many more) Posted via Android Central App
  • Exactly. They just don't get it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You 2 should go actually look at what the government wants apple to do. It's not about unlocking this one phone. The backdoor they are asking to get would allow backdoor unfettered access to any iPhone. You really think that it wouldn't be a matter of time before they reverse engineer the tech and would be able to do it remotely at the drop of a hat. Period.
  • No. The govt wants apple to destroy the feature of destroying data after so many attempts, But only on phones that have a warrant. FBI says they can hack the phone but can't get around the feature. Basically, apple keeps the process, but wants apple to comply when there's a warrant fur the info. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You two don't get "it." Furthermore, the terrorists went to great lengths to destroy their personal devices and let the work phone intact. They obviously didn't use that device for any of their terrorist communications. This is the government using a terrorist act to fool people like you into getting their way. Do you know how many iPhones are in this world? How do you think ANY foreign government would react to ONLY the US government having a backdoor into devices. This is much bigger than simple minded folks seem to grasp.
  • Fox Mulder can take some shrooms and read the dead POS's mind. I saw it. It's true.
  • +1 for season 10 X Files reference Posted via my glorious Nexus 6P
  • 2016 is going to be one interesting year for tech.
  • Google supporting Apple is comical. Apparently, Google is all about mining data and acquiring a person's information, but wouldn't want to have to share or release any if it. Right. Posted via my BlackBerry Priv
  • You know Google only takes your data if you let them and they don't share it with anyone. It's in Google's TOS. You should read them some time, considering you're using an Android device.
  • I have removed/disabled as much Google stuff from my life as possible. I rely on BlackBerry and BES to help with the rest. I believe nothing Google says in their TOS. They can basically do whatever they want. Posted via my BlackBerry Priv
  • How many rolls of tinfoil did it take to make your helmet?
  • I love it! The "Government" needs to understand that we're the bosses and not them!!!!! "Don't Tread on Me" Dam It Feels Good To Be A Google Gangster
  • I hope the best win and win is good for customers like us.
  • OK tinfoil hat wearers. What if the reason Apple is being all 'We don't want to open the phone' is because they already have a back door into all their phones. But they don't want you to know, because then they look like evil overlords or something. Yeah what about that? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The problem with that line of thinking is simply this: when (not if) that's discovered, Apple would lose billions of dollars and seriously tarnish their reputation. Backdoors are one of the attack vectors hackers (good or bad) try when exploiting weaknesses in devices/code (that's how you get Jailbreaking on iDevices or rooting on Androids). Deliberately putting in a back door would be like deliberately having your car's software detect when it's being tested and having its emissions lowered.
  • That's crazy talk. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Man that was a good jab at Volkswagen... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Here's the thing - The FBI are trying to get something for nothing. Scenario 1: The FBI can already crack the iPhone, but if they can crack the iphone, they can crack the iphone... which hits Apple's image, brand and stock price hard, and in turn Apple will have to make tougher encryption. If this is the case, the FBI is attempting to 'keep their enemies closer' by wanting Apple to appear to help crack 1 individual phone, thus not giving away the fact that any iphones involved in low profile incidents can be cracked away from public news.
    Scenario 2 (the more likely): The FBI cannot crack the iPhone, as it would take more money to develop a crack than took to create the encryption (somewhat). It's fair to assume that the icloud account for the phone in question was deliberately reset so the FBI would have a foot-in-the-door excuse to ask for asssistance. If Apple submit, not only does Apple lose, but everyone loses.
    The terrorists involved in the incident are dead- end of the line pretty much for this case. Therefore there is even less weight on this ridiculous call for Apple to help break into the device just for the minor possibility it may contain information on other individuals or cells that may carry out an attack in future.
    The FBI is just going to have to suck it up and accept that they cannot have their own way this time, and are going to lose on this one.
  • I don't think the courts are going to agree with you and tell the FBI to "suck it up" when it comes to national security. People too often forget 9/11 and why and how that happened. I don't think it's in anyone's best interest to try and push this under the rug. The device used to communicate about the innocent slaughter of 14 brothers, fathers, wives, etc should not be in vain for Jihadists POS! We, here in the US, are such conflicted people's. (what liberties should one have when committing such a hideous crime) What they did was effectively an act of war on US citizens. Have their homes and personal items been researched and gone through? Why NOT the govt issued phone? Apple, in my opinion, needs to find a solution. If a sleeper cell were to plan an attack on Apple headquarters who would be responsible and held accountable for not stopping the attack? (Cook or our Govt?) Posted via Android Central App
  • Like jobs said. End to end control.
  • I personally, in the interest of public and national security, hope that this issue leads to Congress passing a law that no cell phones can be sold in the United States possessing encryption that is unbreakable by law enforcement - with a warrant issued by a court of law for reasonable purposes, of course. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You're kidding, right?