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Bruce Sewell on FBI Filing: ‘Cheap Shot’, meant to ‘smear’ and ‘vilify’ Apple


Earlier this week, the DOJ put in its latest response to Apple regarding their ongoing encryption case which revolves around the iPhone of Syed Farook Rizwan who was one of the gunmen in the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. In the filing, the FBI said that it’s request “invade no one’s privacy”. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also accused the Cupertino based company of being “corrosive and false”. On the other hand, the tech giant also called a press conference to address the latest filing from the FBI. According to Business Insider, Apple’s general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Government Affairs, Bruce Sewell, remarked that the latest FBI filing is a cheap shot and also indicated that the tone of it “reads like an indictment”. Moreover, Sewell also added that the FBI is “so desperate at this point that it has thrown all decorum to the wind”. The Apple executive said that he believed that the FBI’s brief was meant to disparage or “vilify” Apple.

“For the first time we see an allegation that Apple has deliberately made changes to block law enforcement requests for access. This should be deeply offensive to everyone that reads it. An unsupported, unsubstantiated effort to vilify Apple rather than confront the issues in the case. We add security features to protect our customers from hackers and criminals. And the FBI should be supporting us in this because it keeps everyone safe. To suggest otherwise is demeaning. It cheapens the debate and it tries to mask the real and serious issues. I can only conclude that the DoJ is so desperate at this point that it has thrown all decorum to the winds….”

Sewell explained how the filing came as a shocker to him as Apple has always cooperated with and continues to work “shoulder to shoulder with good people” at the DOJ. According to Sewell, he did not see the “cheap shot brief” coming.

The Apple executive went on linking the latest FBI response to Apple going into court and arguing that the FBI could not be trusted because of the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

“We would never respond in kind, but imagine Apple asking a court whether the FBI could be trusted because there is a real question about whether J Edgar Hoover ordered the assignation of Kennedy”

Sewell also told that, according to him the FBI’s brief was intended to “smear” the tech giant and is the worst one he’s seen in his 30 years of practice.

“In 30 years of practice I don’t think I’ve seen a legal brief that was more intended to smear the other side with false accusations and innuendo, and less intended to focus on the real merits of the case.”

Apple is expected to formally reply to the Department of Justice by March 15th and both sides will appear in federal court on March 22nd.

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