Apple has objected to or otherwise challenged at least 12 government requests to help extract data from locked iPhones since September, bolstering its argument that its current battle about a terrorist’s phone is not as unique as the Justice Department has maintained.
The other requests are listed in a newly unsealed court brief filed by Apple attorney Marc Zwillinger, responding to a magistrate judge in a Brooklyn federal court. That case involves a government request to search an Apple iPhone 5s for evidence about a suspect’s possession or sale of methamphetamine.
Apple has refused to extract data from the phone, even though it could (because it was running on an older operating system) arguing in court they it was “being forced to become an agent of law enforcement.”
A California magistrate judge last week ordered Apple to develop and install software to help the FBI break in to an iPhone 5c belonging to San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook. Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to comply, issuing a public letter that set off a major new debate about digital privacy.