The Department Of Justice ( Doj )

2095 Words Nov 15th, 2016 9 Pages
On February 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained an unprecedented court order in the San Bernardino shooting case that would have forced Apple to design and deliver to the DOJ software capable of destroying the encryption and passcode protections built into the iPhone.1 The DOJ asserted that this order was simply the extension of a warrant obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search the shooter’s iPhone, which had been locked with a standard passcode.

The FBI’s litigation strategy backfired when Apple decided to commit its resources to getting the order vacated. The Fourth Amendment’s guarantee that “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”2 was technically not at issue in the San Bernardino case. Nonetheless, when Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect,”3Americans began to feel—perhaps for the first time since the Revolutionary Era—that they needed protection against search warrants.

Apple assembled a team of legal luminaries to challenge the San Bernardino order, including former Solicitor General Ted Olson, who told the media that a loss for Apple would “lead to a police state.”4 The day before the highly anticipated hearing, the DOJ unexpectedly requested an adjournment;5 a week later, the DOJ asked that the order be vacated as no…
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