DOJ slams Apple's arguments in San Bernardino iPhone case

Apple answers

Shortly after the DOJ's filing was made public, Apple responded in a press briefing, and it didn't hold back.

Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell, via Business Insider, said the brief is written in a tone that "reads like an indictment." Apple has cooperated with law enforcement, which Comey has previously noted. Sewell quoted Comey as saying "there are no demons here," in respect to this case.

"Well, you certainly wouldn't conclude it from this brief," Sewell said today. "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."

He said the filing includes allegations that Apple "deliberately made changes to block law enforcement requests for access."

"This should be deeply offensive to everyone that reads it," he continued. "An unsupported, unsubstantiated effort to vilify Apple rather than confront the issues in the case."

Sewell said some parts of the filing reveal "the desperation that the Department of Justice now feels."

He maintained Apple builds its security features to protect its customers from nefarious actors, and the FBI should support it in this effort "because it keeps everyone safe."

"To suggest otherwise is demeaning," Sewell said. "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."

He concluded by acknowledging there are "great people" at both the DOJ and FBI. He called today's filing a "cheap shot brief" that surprised Apple, and called for both parties to treat each other respectfully and to bring the case before the public "in a responsible way."

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.