As far as Apple and its legal team is concerned, George Washington and the rest of the gang who worked on the committed to draft the Declaration of Independence "would be appalled" at the powers the U.S. government wields today. Furthermore, Apple's lawyers reiterated that complying with the court order to essentially create a backdoor into the iPhone would have "widespread repercussions."
"According to the government, short of kidnapping or breaking an express law, the courts can order private parties to do virtually anything the Justice Department and FBI can dream up," Apple's lawyers argued in a new court filing. "The Founders would be appalled."
The tone of Apple's filing is par for course at this point. Lawyers on both sides have kicked up the rhetoric in filings ahead of a scheduled March 22 court hearing to decide if Apple should be forced to thwart its own security. Apple's position on the matter is that creating a master key of sorts to break into the iPhone 5c model in the FBI's possession would compromise the security of hundreds of millions of other iPhones. The Cupertino outfit also fears the precedent it would set for future cases.
"This case arises in a difficult context after a terrible tragedy. But it is in just such highly-charged and emotional cases that the courts must zealously guard civil liberties and the rule of law and reject government over-reaching," Apple stated.
The FBI contends that it's only interested in a single iPhone, both because there might exist some information on the handset related to future terrorist attacks, and because it owes the victims of the shooters a full investigation.