Prosecutors Bring Together Victims' Brigade in Apple Encryption Battle
Feb 25, 2016 05:24 AM EST
Prosecutors handling the case of the San Bernardino shootings took unconventional ways in enlisting victims of the attack over the government's battle with Apple Inc. on unlocking the mobile phone that was used by the shooter.
Some of the family members of two victims will be present in a legal brief next week. The brief will urge Apple to aid the government in unlocking the controversial mobile device used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino shooting, as reported by Reuters.
Stephen Larson, the lawyer representing the family of San Bernardino shooting victims, said that he was pulled into the case by U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, Eileen Decker. Larson said that Decker personally asked if he wanted to join the brigade as the victims' lawyer.
Other prosecutors of San Bernardino County also contacted one of the husbands of the victims and presented a possibility of joining in the case.
This kind of enlisting is aiming to convince Apple to divulge the contents of the mobile phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook by removing its password protections. However, Apple thinks that this move would lead to more serious security threats for their customers around the world.
"This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation. At stake is the data security of hundred of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone's civil liberties," said Tim Cook, Apple Chief Executive, in a report by Lawyer Herald.
Former federal prosecutors and defense lawyers stated that such a situation has never happened, in which the Justice Department sought a lawyer to represent the victims. While this process might be unusual, there were no comments stating that it was inappropriate. It was not pointed out that the action could cause several complications if the interests of the government and the victims paired up.
"Apple has close to unlimited resources to litigate this thing. It is hardly a surprise the U.S. Attorney wants to make sure victims have someone looking after them," said Larson, in a report by Reuters.