New York: The Justice Department argued Thursday that compelling Apple to help unlock an iPhone in California is a "modest" demand which may find "evidence of a terrorist attack."
The brief filed in federal court came in response to a challenge by Apple, backed by a broad coalition of technology firms and activists, which said the FBI was seeking a "back door" into all iPhones as part of the probe into the December San Bernardino attacks.
The government brief, in sharp contrast, claimed it is a single case of technical assistance in an important national security investigation.
"The court`s order is modest. It applies to a single iPhone, and it allows Apple to decide the least burdensome means of complying," the Justice Department lawyers wrote.
"As Apple well knows, the order does not compel it to unlock other iPhones or to give the government a universal `master key` or `back door.` It is a narrow, targeted order... The government and the community need to know what is on the terrorist`s phone, and the government needs Apple`s assistance to find out."