There's been ongoing dialogue about Apple's upcoming legal strategy in its battle with the government about whether it should be required to comport with a court order mandating that the Cupertino gadget maker assist the authorities in accessing a locked, encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. One legal angle that's largely been overlooked is the Fifth Amendment.
Here at Ars, we already produced a lengthy feature focusing on the All Writs Act of 1789, a law invoked by judges to order somebody to do something despite there being no law requiring them to do so. That ancient law is at the heart of the government's argument demanding that Apple write custom software to assist the authorities in unlocking the encrypted iPhone used by killer Syed Rizwan Farook, who participated in a shooting spree in December that killed 14 people. Our Ars story overlooked a Fifth Amendment defense and largely discussed a nuanced three-pronged approach to how Apple will defend its stance of not wanting to provide assistance to the government's request. If Apple is ultimately ordered to comply, Apple chief Tim Cook said it would set a "dangerous precedent."
Then on Tuesday, Bloomberg wrote that Apple will also argue in its legal papers to be filed by Friday that computer code, and its cryptographic autograph, are protected speech under the First Amendment, and that the government cannot compel speech by Apple. Bloomberg reported: