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Monday, February 29, 2016

The five questions that will decide Apple’s fight with the FBI | The Verge

"There’s also the real possibility that the New York Telephone case doesn’t matter at all. The All Writs Act only applies where there’s no preexisting statute that addresses the situation — but we’ve added a lot of new statutes in the 39 years since New York Telephone was argued. Some legal experts have offered 1994’s Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act in particular as a relevant statute. If the court agrees, it would strike at the heart of the government’s case, punting the entire argument directly back to Congress.

The government’s filings address this up front, claiming CALEA is inapplicable because Apple isn’t a carrier and the order concerns stored data rather than real-time phone records. But Apple’s filing points out a separate section of CALEA that says the government "cannot dictate to providers of electronic communications services or manufacturers of telecommunications equipment any specific equipment design or software configuration." It’s not an exact match — since GovtOS won’t be sold as a product, maybe it’s more like a coding request than a dictated software configuration — but for many, it sounds an awful lot like what the FBI is asking from Apple in the broader encryption fight."

The five questions that will decide Apple’s fight with the FBI | The Verge

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