I am not a legal expert. I am not a tech expert. Pluapple-vs-fbi-4th-amendments, the ‘facts’ of Apple versus the FBI keep changing ever few hours. That given, I have some questions.

  1. I get the fact about liberty–I value highly individual liberty–but when a court orders it, doesn’t that mean due process has taken place?
  2. People might be over-reacting to Apple’s refusal. Isn’t it possible they are appealing in order to take this all the way up the chain of appeals to get a final answer.
  3. Why is this public? I always assumed that covert operations were supposed to be, well, covert.
  4. On the same topic, why does our FBI and Homeland Security not have the kind of resources to take care of this in-house? Don’t most of you assume that the FBI should have people who can hack an iPhone?
  5. Again, related still, did the FBI think to ask a sixteen-year-old girl? I bet she can figure it out.
  6. What do you think Steve Jobs would do? I just watched the Steve Jobs movie (not a very good movie, but an interesting look at Jobs) and I think he would drive up right to the White House and demand to talk to President Obama about this. Second thought, he would have POTUS come to him.
  7. Who is picking this fight–the U.S. Government or Tim Cook?
  8. How do you think this would play out in the media if a Republican were president right now? Yeah, I thought so too.
  9. Does it bother anyone else that ISIS terrorists find the sleek design and friendly user interface of Apple products as irresistible as I do? What does that say about me?
  10. Couldn’t we solve this just by calling James Bond and having Q work on it? But which Q?



images from,,, and


  1. This article is a pretty useful summary of Apple’s argument in court: Apple lays out legal arguments to resist FBI’s iPhone demand ( It seems that this is one of several requests of this nature, but this one is getting all the press for obvious reasons. It can get press, by the way, because legal filings are generally public records, and so the Magistrate’s order in the matter is something anyone could look up. It seems too that the burden the FBI is demanding of Apple is actually considerable. The commentary on the All Writs Act of 1789 is instructive. The state can make “non-burdensome” requests for assistance in executing its searches (think of, perhaps, getting assistance form a landlord to access a property), but this one might be a bit more than what that Federal law was made for. The whole article is worth a read. I haven’t looked up the actual pleading made by Apple’s lawyers, but that piece I linked seems like a good summary.

    • thanks Virgil! i knew i could count on you for a legal perspective. one of the things i heard (or read?) is that Apple found out about the FBI’s request through the media, not with a direct request. If this is true, it underscores this administrations default adversarial posture toward business. thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Since you might find this interesting, Jamie, I just looked up the case docket and decided to leave one more comment on the topic of how this was discovered by Apple. The proceedings did begin “in secret” before even the FBI knew that Apple would be involved, when law enforcement obtained and executed a search warrant of a black Lexus automobile. After finding the iPhone and doing whatever all they did with it, the FBI then sought to compel Apple to help them read its contents. Of course pursuing that would be impossible without Apple being notified. The government’s own Motion to Compel states that, before it sought a court order against Apple it asked Apple to help search the phone (and this after the government had obtained a warrant for the phone as well as permission of the deceased’s employer, who had issued the phone to him).

        So, in any case, I hate our administration as much as the next guy, probably more, but there doesn’t seem to be anything nefarious in the procedures the FBI followed here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: