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FBI Apple

Google, eBay & even the UN lend backing to Apple in FBI face-off


By John Glenday, Reporter

March 4, 2016 | 2 min read

Apple has secured further high profile backing from the technology industry in its principled stance against an FBI request to unlock an iPhone, with eBay, Google and Amazon joining Twitter and Airbnb in siding with the tech firm.

Amazon, eBay, Apple, FBI

The show of support comes as the United Nations itself wades into the row with David Kaye, the UN's special freedom of expression reporter, stating that the encryption and privacy policies employed by Apple are essential to protect free speech.

The intervention comes in the wake of the FBI securing a court order to unlock an iPhone owned by deceased gunman Syed Rizwan who went on a terror rampage in San Bernardino, killing 14 people with his wife.

Moving beyond public backing the tech firms have filed a so-called amicus brief which enables them to express their view directly in the ongoing court case, even though they are not directly affected.

One group to file an amicus brief includes Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo with a separate submission made by Twitter, AirBnB, Ebay, LinkedIn and Reddit amongst others.

Intel and AT&T have also intervened under their own steam.

The FBI wants Apple to weaken its security protocols by allowing unlimited attempts at password entry instead of the current ten before data is erased and a method of rapidly cycling through multiple password variations.

Thus far Apple has pushed back against these requests, despite being ordered to comply by a court, arguing that to do so would undermine public trust.

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