Apple filed a motion on Thursday to vacate a California judge's order compelling the company to create software that would allow FBI agents to access an iPhone used in the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attacks.
The government has said Apple must help because there is no way to get at the data on a smartphone used by San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook without the company engineering a special operating system. The company said, among other things, that the judge's order violates the company's First Amendment rights.
"No court has ever granted the government power to force companies like Apple to weaken its security systems to facilitate the government's access to private individuals' information," the tech giant said in a release.
On the First Amendment, Apple said that being forced to write a new set of code reflecting the government's opinion of privacy (not the company's) constitutes a violation of its rights against compelled speech and viewpoint discrimination.
Apple also said the demand violates its Fifth Amendment right to be free from arbitrary deprivation of liberties "in that it would conscript Apple to develop software that undermines the security mechanisms of its own products," the company said in a fact sheet about the motion.
In a conference call with reporters, Apple executives contended that the government is asking the court to order the company to do something that has not been authorized by Congress — something that the Department of Justice and the executive branch has shied away from.