The Department of Justice (DOJ) wants Apple to decrypt iPhone software in the case of a defendant’s phone in a court case. Apple has said they could do so, but they are refusing to do it for several reasons. The DOJ is now attempting to force the issue since Apple is the company that licenses the iPhone software.

The DOJ says that since this is the case, Apple has a relationship with their phones and can’t gain benefits of the licensing of its iPhone software and then refuse ownership or duty to help law enforcement, especially when refusing to decrypt iPhone software hinders a legal execution of a search warrant.

Apple Says to Decrypt iPhone Software Would Harm Brand

What this means is that since Apple is the owner of the iPhone software, and not technically the defendant in this case, they have the obligation to decrypt iPhone software to help the DOJ in the legal case. Apple says it is refusing to do so because it would cause harm to the trust between them and their clients and hurt the Apple brand name.

Apple also claims that if they unlocked the iPhone software it would use up a lot of resources and could end up not even helping in the DOJ’s legal case. They also say that it’s not possible to get around a password if an iPhone is running iOS 8 or later. However, the iPhone the DOJ wants Apple to unlock is running iOS 7.

DOJ Trying to Force Issue with Statement that Apple Owns the Software

The DOJ is not happy with Apple refusing to unlock the defendant’s iPhone in their legal case. However, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, also has said that customers have a fundamental right to privacy, and that the government shouldn’t have a backdoor to Apple’s servers.

Apple says that if the DOJ is successful in their request that it would cause a precedent for future issues. Almost all technology like phones, computers, etc. has licensed software that the company making it doesn’t sell to the end consumer. So, if Apple is forced to unlock iPhone software, all of these companies could be forced to unlock their software as well if asked by the proper authority.

The DOJ’s request could end up causing a ripple effect in legal cases all over the world that would force companies to comply with legal authority. Therefore, the request by the DOJ to decrypt iPhone software is a much bigger issue than you may think.