Apple Inc. might have gotten the support of a few Silicon Valley giants, but some of the victims of the San Bernardino attack are against the company. They have decided to file a legal brief in support of the U.S. government in an attempt to pressure the iPhone firm to help the FBI unlock the encrypted phone obtained from one of the shooters, according to a lawyer representing the victims.
Victims want to know why and how
Speaking to Reuters, Stephen Larson, a former federal judge who is now in private practice, said he is representing victims who have an interest in information that goes beyond the Justice Department’s criminal investigation. They want to know why the terrorists targeted them and how it all took place, said Larson.
Larson said that the Justice Department and local prosecutors contacted him a week ago about representing the victims before the dispute became public. The lawyer shared his plan of filing an amicus brief in the court by early March. A Justice Department spokesman refused to comment on the matter. Larson did not state how many victims he was representing.
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A married couple carried out the shooting attack in which 14 were killed and 22 others were wounded. These terrorists, who were shot down police in a gun battle, were said to be inspired by Islamic State militants.
Apple firm on its decision
The FBI intends to access shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone by disabling some of its passcode protections, and for this purpose, it is seeking Apple’s help. With the victims, the federal government has surely got a powerful ally in its fight against Apple. James Comey, FBI Director, released a letter on Sunday night, saying that the agency had made the request for the purpose of seeking justice for the victims and investigating other possible threats.
“Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation under law. That’s what this is,” Comey wrote.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to customers last week, “We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected” and that the company has “worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime.”
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has said in its arguments that it is trying to protect public privacy from the federal government’s overreach.