Posted by: David Harley | March 1, 2016

All Writs Act – Decision

Here is Judge Orenstein’s decision in the use of the All Writs Act to compel Apple to assist in ways the company finds unacceptable (to be clear, this judgement is on the case of Jun Feng, though the San Bernardino case is alluded to in the document):

…Ultimately, the question to be answered in this matter, and in others like it across the country, is not whether the government should be able to force Apple to help it unlock a specific device; it is instead whether the All Writs Act resolves that issue and many others like it yet to come. For the reasons set forth above, I conclude that it does not. The government’s motion is denied.

Is this the end of the matter? I suspect not. The document ends with the assertion of a need to find a way to resolve the tension between privacy and safety, while acknowledging that the debate was not already concluded by the passing of the Act in 1789. What the impact of such a debate will be on the San Bernardino case remains to be seen.

David Harley

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