Apple isn’t the only tech giant in a privacy battle with the FBI. Google’s also been asked to unlock devices

March 31, 2016


Apple’s privacy fight with the FBI has grabbed most of the headlines recently – but Google is apparently also involved.

A report published by the American Civil Liberties Union found that feds asked for help in cracking devices key to ongoing investigations 63 times.

Of those requests, 90% were aimed at Apple while 10% were made to Google.

The US Department of Justice has thus far cited the All Writs Act – a 227-year-old law – in an attempt to compel tech companies to aid in investigations ranging from child pornography to drug running.


Google told CNET today (March 30): “We carefully scrutinise subpoenas and court orders to make sure they meet both the letter and spirit of the law.

“However, we’ve never received an All Writs Act order like the one Apple recently fought that demands we build new tools that actively compromise our products’ security. As our amicus shows, we would strongly object to such an order.”


Earlier this week, the US Justice Department dropped its legal bid to force Apple to help it unlock an iPhone belonging to a terrorist in December’s San Bernardino attack.

Federal authorities were apparently able to gain access to the device without Apple’s help, but are keeping its methods secret for now.

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