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What Does The Recent iPhone Case Mean For Us?


In today’s video we wrap up our discussion of the iPhone case that was brought to the forefront of our nation’s attention after the shooting in San Bernardino, California. This case hits on a wide variety of important question about our right to privacy and how much control the federal government should have over private businesses.

Watch the video to lean more.

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Below is a transcript of the video:

What Does The Recent iPhone Case Mean For Us?

The question here is whether Apple needs to create a new piece of software in order to unlock its own iPhone. This became a hot topic recently because of the tragedy of the San Bernardino shootings of course. The FBI as part of its investigation wanted to get inside the iPhone of one of the shooters in that case. I think we would be disappointed in the FBI if they weren’t seeking that kind of information.

But the case is extraordinary in that it seeks to do something that hasn’t been done before. In other words, the federal government is asking a private company to create something that it doesn’t have.

Apple specifically designed the iPhone, and people buy the iPhones specifically for its security features. Apple right now doesn’t have the capability to unlock an iPhone. So, the federal government here is asking them to create a software program that would essentially undermine their own security features and that’s what novel about this case.

It’s also a little bit disturbing that the federal government is trying to do this through the All Writs Act which takes us back to the late 18th century. This is one of the first statutes actually passed in the United States, and it’s sort of a Catch-All Law that allows the courts to grant the government the ability to grab stuff that no other law seems to allow it to do. So, it’s a very fascinating battle, and it’s a battle that has a lot of relevance in cases that are in this office right now.

There are at least 4 or 5 different cases in this office that have to do with searches of cellphones and the contents therein. We’re litigating this issue in the courts of the State of Maine right now. So, we’re following the Apple case very closely. Everything about our phones tells a talented investigator really everything about our lives.

The embarrassing, the not so embarrassing, the mundane and the government is certainly hoping the criminal constitution in United States and its amendments do not say we have a constitutional right to privacy, but yes we do have a constitutional right to privacy.

We’ve known that since the late 70s, the United States Supreme Court has helped us see some people would say a right to privacy, some people would say the United State Supreme Court created a right of privacy who were none previously existed. But the case lies pretty clear right now. We absolutely do have a right to privacy, and what that means is a right to be free from government snooping into our bedrooms, into our homes and into our iPhones.
Here in the United States we have a long history of mistrust and concern about government overreaching into our private lives. It’s a hot topic in the United States and it has been since we were born as a nation.

This iPhone case brings it to a for and a new context of course because we have, many would argue more private information in our iPhones than we do in our bedrooms. So, it’s an extremely important topic for how all of us live our lives.

It’s increasingly impossible to operate in this culture without a smart phone, without a super computer in our pockets. If we believe in a limited government in the United States that we have checks on the government’s ability to see into our private lives. The phone is where my whole private life resides. We had a case in the office recently where the government was seeking to compel our client to give over his passcode information so that the government could get inside his phone.

We filed the motion to suppress that ability and were able to prevail on that motion to suppress. So, it’s a hot topic. When the government is investigating crime, they absolutely do want get inside your phone. It’s really critical that you have an attorney and that you have the research and the know-how behind you so that you can object to that.

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