The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a motion prompting a federal court to force Apple to help the FBI gain access to the iPhone of a suspect in the San Bernardino shooting.

Pressure is mounting for Apple to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino suspected shooters after the company received a magistrate's order to help the FBI decrypt the smartphone. The Justice Department's motion now wants to convince a federal court to force Apple to take action and execute that federal magistrate's order, which was released on Tuesday.

Apple has five business days to respond to that order, but the DoJ jumped the gun and filed the motion without waiting for Apple's response. The DoJ argues that Apple CEO Tim Cook already made it quite clear that his company does not intend to comply with the magistrate's order.

The Apple CEO recently wrote an open letter in response to the FBI's unlock request, explaining how unlocking the iPhone would have dire consequences. Cook says the implications are "chilling" and threatening, and Apple stands firmly committed to its pro-encryption stance, opposing back doors.

The Justice Department took this letter as a sign that Apple will not help the government in this matter, so it wants to force Apple's hand with the help of a federal court.

"Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack by obeying this Court's Order of Feb. 16, 2016, Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that Order," the DoJ writes in its motion.

The DoJ further notes that Apple left the government with no other choice, and the company's open letter pointed to threats that are not real.

"The Order does not, as Apple's public statement alleges, require Apple to create or provide a 'back door' to every iPhone; it does not provide 'hackers and criminals' access to iPhones; it does not require Apple to 'hack [its] own users' or to its own phones; it does not give the government 'the power to reach into anyone's device' without a warrant or court authorization; and it does not compromise the security of personal information," argues the DoJ.

Moreover, the Justice Department says that Apple's reluctance to help the government and its public statements on the matter are nothing more than a marketing ploy, aiming to preserve its business model.

Apple has the technical ability to comply with the Order and it should do so, whether willingly or not, the DoJ concludes.

This is not even the first time that the U.S. Justice Department wants to force Apple to decrypt its iPhones. Back in October 2015, for instance, the DoJ criticized Apple for implementing government-grade encryption into its iOS. At the time, the DoJ asked Apple to unlock its iPhones because it licenses iOS rather than selling it.

Despite mounting pressure from the government, however, Apple always stood firm and defended its encryption on numerous occasions. The company reiterated time and time again that it will not create back doors, because opening its devices to the government would also mean making them vulnerable to attacks.

It remains to be seen whether a court order will ultimately force Apple to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter suspect, but the company continues to fight its pro-encryption battle.

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