APPLE IS NOT the only firm to be approached by the US authorities under the hoary All Writs Act, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the request has also gone the way of Google.
Apple has been getting all the attention for defying demands under the All Writs Act in recent weeks, but an ACLU study found that 63 other requests had been directed at Google.
The ACLU has released a map of these incidents, which are well spread across the US.
"The map [tracks] what we know, based on publicly available documents filed with federal courts, about the government's improper use of the All Writs Act to force Apple and Google to help unlock mobile devices and give law enforcement access to the data stored on them," the organisation explained.
"The information displayed here was compiled by the ACLU and the ACLU of Massachusetts. The ACLU expects to learn about additional All Writs Act cases in response to our Freedom of Information Act requests and we will continually update this map."
The group stressed the importance of sharing the information so that people are aware that the use of the act in the San Bernardino case is not isolated.
"There are even more cases out there. In addition to the 63 confirmed cases, we know of up to 13 additional cases, which are reflected on the map. Apple has identified 12 pending cases (although their docket numbers remain unknown) and we uncovered one case in Massachusetts which has not yet been confirmed because of a lack of publicly available information," said the ACLU.
"The FBI wants you to think that it will use the All Writs Act only in extraordinary cases to force tech companies to assist in the unlocking of phones. Turns out, these kinds of orders have actually become quite ordinary."
We have asked Google to comment. Everyone knows how Apple feels about the All Writs Act. µ
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