That’s the road ahead unfortunately. Not surprisingly a wide swath of the tech community from AT&T to Twitter is getting behind Apple with amicus briefs in support of its position. They don’t want to be asked to divulge customer data any more than Apple, although in our age of the iPhone and Facebook it happens every day.
At the end of the day, we need some clear guidelines on what governments should and should not be allowed to request from tech companies around user data. Such guidelines are as overdue as an update of the All Writs Act of 1789. They can only be written by a thoughtful group of experts drawn from all sides – public and private – and their work should be vetted by elected officials.
Rick Merritt is Silicon Valley Bureau Chief and covers Internet of Things and wireless/networking for EE Times.