One Phone?

The FBI’s claims that their demands are not about establishing legal precedent, but about a specific phone in a single case took a major blow. The Justice Department is pursuing court orders for Apple to unlock 12 additional phones in a variety of criminal cases around the country.

The other phones are evidence in cases where prosecutors have sought, as in the San Bernardino, Calif., terror case, to use an 18th-century law called the All Writs Act to compel the company to help them bypass the passcode security feature of phones that may hold evidence, according to a letter from Apple which was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday.

Law enforcement officials understand the implications of the precedent the San Bernardino case could establish. Manhattan District Attorney, in an interview with Charlie Rose, expressed his intention to seek similar measures should the opportunity be open to him.

Charlie Rose recently interviewed Mr. Vance and asked if he would want access to all phones that were part of a criminal proceeding should the government prevail in the San Bernardino case.

Mr. Vance responded: “Absolutely right.”

Tell me again how this is about one phone?