The U.S. Department of Justice filed amotionseeking to compelAppleIncto comply with a judge'sorderfor the company to unlock theiPhonebelonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, escalating a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the tech giant's help to access the shooter's phone, which is encrypted. The company so far has pushed back, and on Thursday won three extra days to respond to theorder.
The confrontation has pitted privacy advocates, who do not want to give any ground to government efforts to undermine encryption, and law enforcement officials who say people's lives may be at stake unless the shooter'siPhoneis unlocked.
"Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack ...Applehas responded by publicly repudiating thatorder," prosecutors wrote in the Fridayorder.
"Apple’s current refusal to comply with the court’sorder, despite the technical feasibility of doing so, instead appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy,” prosecutors added.
It was not immediately clear whether the newmotionwas legally necessary. A footnote in the Justice Department's filing acknowledged a separate compelorder"is not legally necessary."
A federal court hearing in California has been scheduled for March 22 in the case, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.