×

UN Human Rights Commissioner Backs Apple in Fight with FBI

Apple got some more high-ranking support in its fight with FBI Friday: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement that the feds shouldn’t force Apple to help them to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

“In order to address a security-related issue related to encryption in one case, the authorities risk unlocking a Pandora’s Box that could have extremely damaging implications for the human rights of many millions of people, including their physical and financial security,” Zeid said.

He went on to argue that there are many other ways to investigate the case at hand that wouldn’t include unlocking the phone, and cautioned that the FBI may inadvertently set a legal precedent in other countries as well, writing: “It is potentially a gift to authoritarian regimes, as well as to criminal hackers.”

Al-Hussein is just the latest backer of Apple as the company aims to overturn a court verdict that would force it to help the FBI unlock Farook’s iPhone. On Thursday, dozens of companies, civil liberties organizations and individuals filed amicus briefs in support of Apple’s position. Some of the companies that came to Apple’s defense included Twitter, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and AT&T.

However, a few companies stopped short of officially coming to Apple’s defense. Longtime mobile device competitor Samsung stressed the importance of privacy and argued against government backdoors, but told Bloomberg that it wasn’t going to file an amicus brief. And Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said earlier this week that his company is not taking sides on the case.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Jake Paul

    YouTuber Jake Paul Launches Entrepreneur How-To Platform, Financial Freedom Movement

    YouTuber Jake Paul wants you to be financially free, for $19.99 a month.  At a rally on Saturday, the content creator — along with influencer friends and around 50 teenage and tween-age fans, some chaperoned by parents — launched the Financial Freedom Movement (FFM) in partnership with GenZ Holdings Inc., a Los Angeles-based brand development [...]

  • HQ Trivia

    HQ Trivia Live Game App Shuts Down

    After a two and a half years, HQ Trivia — the live game-show app that gave away cash prizes to winners — is shutting down. HQ Trivia’s move to shut its doors was first reported by CNN. The company is laying off its 25 full-time staffers, according to the report. In a tweet Friday, CEO [...]

  • Golden Mics - The Podcast Academy

    The Oscars of Podcasting? First 'Golden Mics' Awards to Debut in 2021

    The burgeoning podcast biz is looking for its own version of the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. On Friday, a group of podcast publishers and producers including Spotify, NPR, PRX, Sony Music Entertainment and Wondery announced the formation of the Podcast Academy, a membership-based organization dedicated to promoting the medium. As part of its charter, the [...]

  • Mike Bloomberg

    Mike Bloomberg's Odd Meme Blitz Spurs Instagram to Require Influencers to Disclose Paid Political Content

    A new paid meme campaign on Instagram by billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who’s running a guerrilla bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has prompted Facebook to clarify that influencers on the platform must disclose such arrangements. This week, Bloomberg’s presidential campaign launched a broad campaign across at least 19 top Instagram accounts with a collective [...]

  • Disney+ on Roku

    Roku Takes Credit for Being 'Important' Part of Disney Plus's Booming Q4 Signups

    Roku, in announcing strong 2019 holiday-quarter results, gave a bit of a flex in claiming it was a key part of Disney Plus reeling in 26.5 million customers in Q4. CEO Anthony Wood, on the company’s earnings call Thursday, gave props to Disney for blowing past Wall Street expectations with the new streaming service in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content