Three advocacy groups back Apple in its encryption fight with FBI

In its ongoing iPhone encryption scuffle with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), tech giant Apple has garnered the support of three advocacy groups --- the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and digital rights groups Access Now and Wickr Foundation.

The three advocacy groups are backing Apple in its fight against a federal court order which requires the company to help the FBI unlock the iPhone used by a San Bernardino shooter -- Syed Rizwan Farook -- who was shot down by law enforcement after the terror attacks in December 2015.

Since the February 16 court order demands that Apple should create a new iOS version to enable the FBI to circumvent the iPhone's security mechanism, Apple has refused to comply with the order because of its resolute stance on encryption.

Siding with Apple in the encryption fight, the three advocacy groups said that the government's effort to compel Apple to help the FBI in its investigation can set a dangerous precedent for user privacy.

The ACLU is of the opinion that the court order being challenged by Apple raises important "constitutional questions regarding the limits of law enforcement authority;" while Access Now and Wickr Foundation - seeking permission on Wednesday to submit friend- of-the-court filings - have expressed concerns about "the impact that the intentional weakening of digital security would have on global human rights."