Story after story is being written about the legal fight between a popular phone and computer manufacturer and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That fight is centered around many hot-button issues that range from national security and terrorism to personal privacy rights. Opinions about what the judge and company involved should do have been rendered from every pocket of our society.
The fight between the two involves the cellular phone of a recently killed terrorist from San Bernardino. After the horrible events that occurred that fateful day, the FBI recovered troves of information from the crime scenes, including the man’s phone. The problem for the FBI is unlocking the phone. Apparently, the newer phones made by this company are highly encrypted, and impossible to crack open without erasing all the data on the phone.
The issue now is whether the FBI can force the company to help them write software that enables the FBI to crack open the phone and get the stored data. The company is arguing that helping them in this case will create a backdoor for all hackers who want to then intrude on privacy of all phone holders in the future. As the argument goes, the company has intentionally made it impossible to crack open the phone so that its users data is private.
FBI Relies on 200-Year-Old Law
The FBI on the other hand argues that federal law gives a court the authority to force the company to help. They cite a law that is over 200 years old, and in fact was signed into law by George Washington himself, the All Writs Act. This act was part of the initial laws of the federal government setting up the judicial branch of the government. Essentially, it gives a court with authority to force someone to help the government in an investigation.
Originally in this case, the court ruled that the company would have to help the government, but now the issue is being re-argued and decided. Given the ramifications of what could happen no matter how the court rules, a number of companies, industries, and leaders are weighing in with what the judge should do in this case.
Litigation, the Law, and Privacy
This story is a good example of what is at stake in any court action. When one party sues another, or when the government tries to convict someone of a crime, many private facts are made public. As the third arm of the government, nearly everything the judiciary does is a public matter and therefore available to the public. This means that very private details of a person’s life can be open to the public once that person is involved in a lawsuit. It is a consideration that should be understood before proceeding with litigation in any case.
Panama City Area Accident and Injury Firm
At The Pittman Firm litigation for those injured by the negligence of others is what we do. We will be able to counsel you on every issue involved in a litigation with an insurance company, doctor, or negligent driver. If you have been injured in an accident in the Panama City area, contact us.
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