Good legal writing is a pleasure to read

I’m a sucker for good legal writing, and Apple’s response to the FBI is really good (pdf).

We did learn one interesting thing from Apple’s brief:

The general consensus had been that Apple had input in the drafting of the Ex Parte Order in order to focus on the legal, Constitutional, and liberty issues instead of getting bogged down in the technical details of implementing the order. It now appears that was not the case. As Apple’s counsel describe it in Footnote 22:

22 The government obtained the Order without notice to Apple and without allowing Apple an opportunity to be heard. See Mullane v. Cent. Hanover Bank & Tr. Co., 339 U.S. 306, 314 (1950) (recognizing that one of the "'fundamental requisite[s] of due process of law is the opportunity to be heard'") (quoting Grannis v. Ordean, 234 U.S. 385, 394 (1914)). But this was not a case where the government needed to proceed in secret to safeguard its investigation; indeed, Apple understands that the government alerted reporters before filing its ex parte application, and then, immediately after it was signed and confirmed to be on the docket, distributed the application and Order to the public at about the same time it notified Apple. Moreover, this is the only case in counsel's memory in which an FBI Director has blogged in real-time about pending litigation, suggesting that the government does not believe the data on the phone will yield critical evidence about other suspects. (Citations omitted.)

Assuming this timeline is accurate, the FBI is being as cynically political as we thought.

(Sometimes we forget that the FBI was founded as a political operation, and that it is only in recent times that its actual law enforcement activities have taken precedence over undermining the political enemies of the Powers that Be. But I digress.)

Will It Bend?

Newsflash: Aluminum bends under pressure. Also: water is wet, and (as Agent K says) “people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals.”

That guy in the iPhone bending video is lucky his screen didn’t shatter. (What the hell, Time? Really? The transition to absolute hackery is complete.)

Next time, use real stress test equipment with proper controls and measurements. Like Apple did before releasing the things. Yes, it bends. But does it bend under normal use conditions?

Everyone wants to take a shot at the champ.

Where I come from, we call this Capitalism

Judge Rules Against Apple in E-Books Trial

Apple also included a condition in its contracts, called the most-favored nation clause, requiring the publishers to allow Apple to sell e-books at the same price as the books would be sold in any other store.

The Justice Department said that the publishers used their relationship with Apple, combined with the most-favored nation clause, to threaten Amazon to switch to the agency model so they could raise prices. If Amazon did not agree to those terms, the government said, the publishers intended to withhold their e-books from the retailer until the more expensive hardcover books had been on the market for awhile.

I still can’t figure out why the DOJ is doing’s dirty work.