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Apple to Adopt a First Amendment Defense Against FBI Court Order

Theodore J. Boutrous, a high-profile lawyer retained by Apple in its legal battle with the FBI, has said that the company’s defense will focus on how the FBI’s court order attempts to compel Apple to create a new version of iOS. Since the writing of computer code has been recognized as a form of speech, Boutrous will argue that the government is trying to compel speech, something that the U.S. Supreme Court has said violates First Amendment rights. (In the 1943 case of West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, the Court ruled that students could not be compelled to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.) In related news, Apple has also hired former Solicitor General Ted Olson for its defense team. Olson served as Solicitor General under President George W. Bush, and his wife Barbara Olson died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks, giving him a personal stake in the tension between civil liberties and security.

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