Apple submits final argument before court hearing on terrorist's phone

Updated: 2016-03-16 09:58


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Apple submits final argument before court hearing on terrorist's phone

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York City, in this file photo taken July 21, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. picked up US history on Tuesday to fend off the attempt by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to seek help in trying to hack into the phone of a terrorist killer.

Alleging that the DOJ is trying to "rewrite history" by requesting a specialized software for the purpose of bypassing a security feature of an iPhone 5c, the Silicon Valley technology company said America's founding fathers "would be appalled".

The smartphone was used by Syed Farook, who together with his wife Tashfeen Malik shot dead 14 people on Dec 2 last year in San Bernardino, California, before being killed by police. It has a feature that erases data after 10 unsuccessful unlocking attempts.

Apple's latest argument, submitted to Judge Sheri Pym, of the US District Court, Central California, was in response to the DOJ's court filing on March 10, in which the department alleged that Apple "deliberately raised technological barriers" to block the access to the phone.

It was Apple's final filing before the two sides are scheduled to appear at a court hearing on March 22 before Judge Pym, who ordered on Feb. 16 that the company help the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hack into the device.

A day before the filing, Apple counsel Ted Boutrous told TV channel CNBC that the company regards the dispute as "a policy issue" and does not believe the right forum for its battle with the government is the courts.