Apple court document reveals multiple FBI, Justice Department iPhone requests

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Feb. 24, 2016 at 11:16 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Apple has revealed the FBI demanded the company's help to unlock iPhones at least a dozen times since last fall, reinforcing the tech giant's argument that the FBI's request in the San Bernardino massacre case will lead to further applications.

In a letter unsealed in federal court Tuesday, Apple's lawyers revealed the company received FBI demands to unlock iPhones in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio and New York for devices ranging from iPhone 3s to an iPhone 6 Plus, which has increased security and privacy measures.

"The existence of the other cases shows this isn't simply about one iPhone," Apple lawyer Theodore Boutrous Jr. said. "What's to stop the next court from ordering the same thing to happen?"

The New York Times reported the Justice Department is demanding the Silicon Valley titan's help in unlocking at least nine iPhones nationwide in addition to the one used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who alongside with his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people Dec. 2. Apple is fighting the government's order in at least seven of the cases.

FBI Director James Comey recently defended his agency's legal demand ordering Apple to break into Farook's cellphone data, stating the move is "about the victims and justice."

Apple CEO Tim Cook argues the FBI's order would force the creation of a "back door," which Cook said threatened the security of Apple customers.

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