Apple now has an "interesting" argument that says code is free speech and therefore, under the First Amendment, the government can't compel speech, and therefore the FBI can't make Apple write the code to break into the San Bernadino phone. If this is true, then why doesn't the Government have an equally, yet simpler arguement that Apple is engaging in obstruction of justice, by its refusal to comply with a court order compelling it to produce the contents of the phone under a valid warrant. After all, Apple intentionally wrote the code that prevents the Government, in a criminal investigation, from getting information to which it has a valid and legal right. Why not get Apple under the California statue:
"A person who, knowing that any book, paper, record, instrument in writing, digital image, video recording owned by another, or other matter or thing, is about to be produced in evidence upon a trial, inquiry, or investigation, authorized by law, willfully destroys, erases, or conceals the same, with the intent to prevent it or its content from being produced, is guilty of a misdemeanor."
It seems that this would be an equally interesting argument. Apple clearly is intentionally concealing and there may be an argument that they are willfully destroying it by refusing the FBI's request to prevent the phone from destroying it.
And while we're at it. Why is Apple insisting that this is a privacy issue? This is only a privacy issue for everyone who wants, or can afford a iPhone and has bought it. Will this same software affect LG, Samsung or other phones? Will it affect cheap phones? The argument that this is somehow a threat to all our privacy is just not true. If you have the money to own an iPhone, you get privacy, but everyone else is out of luck?
The truth is, if you look closely and don't just have a knee-jerk reaction, there are holes all over this Apple argument. The fact that Apple hasn't said "It can't be done" begs the question why can't somebody else do it? And that begs the question if somebody else can do it, what they hell are we paying all these tax dollars for the NSA and other "cyber" government agencies, if they can't do it? And if its so likely to get out into the "public" if Apple does it and keeps it in house (like the FBI has suggested) why hasn't that happened already? And really are we seriously to believe that they locked the door on all these phones and threw away the key?