Atlassian provides products and services to companies and teams of all sizes, all around the world. Our customers’ trust in Atlassian is essential to our business, and we have to continually earn that trust by respecting their privacy and securely maintaining their data. This is exactly why we are proud to join Airbnb, Automattic, CloudFlare, eBay, GitHub, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Mapbox, Medium, Meetup, Reddit, Square, Squarespace, Twilio, Twitter, and Wickr as Amici Curiae on a brief supporting Apple and opposing the FBI’s request for any sort of backdoor to make it easier to access customers’ iPhones and get access to their data.
The FBI is asking the court to force Apple to create an entirely new piece of software which would undermine the security that Apple engineers have spent years building into their products. And while the government claims this case is limited to one particular phone, it is not hard to imagine the authorities using the same rationale to further undermine security measures that users rely on to protect their data across various devices.
To be clear, Atlassian has no sympathy for terrorists or any bad actors who would use our products or services to harm others – we make this clear in our Acceptable Use Policies. Further, just as Apple and our fellow Amici have stated, Atlassian supports the lawful investigation of all crimes.
But this support does not extend to creating an entirely new piece of software for the sole purpose of bypassing existing security measures, which would have the obvious ripple effect of undermining security for the vast majority of users who have done nothing wrong, and making customers lose trust in technology products and services.
We make two main arguments in our brief:
First, while we acknowledge the importance of the government’s work protecting our national security, we believe the FBI’s request substantially undermines user trust in technology products and threatens core principles of the Internet, namely privacy, security, and transparency.
Second, we reiterate the points made by the court in a similar case in the Eastern District of New York: Congress has already established a robust statutory framework that allows law enforcement to require third party assistance to access user data in some circumstances. Nothing in that statutory framework authorizes the relief the government seeks in this case. Instead, the government relies on a statute first created in 1789 which was intended to be a “gap-filler” to allow the judiciary to run effectively when Congress has not spoken. Such law does not allow the judiciary to side-step statutory requirements when Congress has chosen not to confer the very powers law enforcement now seeks.
By standing with Apple, we stand for the protection of privacy and security of citizens worldwide.