Apple said to be preparing free speech defense in phone decryption case

In its ongoing legal battle with the FBI, it seems that Apple could adopt an unorthodox argument as part of its overall strategy, using the First Amendment's free speech protections as a defense. Apple will apparently be arguing that its software is protected speech, and that the FBI cannot compel speech from the company, in this case a special version of iOS that would be used to unlock the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

From Bloomberg:

Apple is expected to argue in federal court that code should be protected as speech. The company is fighting a government order requiring it to write software to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple views that as a violation of its philosophy. Just as the government can't make a journalist write a story on its behalf, according to this view, it can't force Apple to write an operating system with weaker security.

While Apple will be exploring this First Amendment avenue, however, it apparently won't form the bulk of the company's defense against the government. The company's case will instead focus on what it sees as the government's excessively broad interpretation of the All Writs Act, an eighteenth-century law that has been widely used by law enforcement agencies to compel companies to hand over information about customers.

FBI vs. Apple