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Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter to Back Apple With Legal Filing in FBI Case

The amicus brief from the search giant will land soon.

Tyler Pina for Re/code

Google plans to follow Microsoft in throwing its legal support behind Apple in its increasingly contentious dispute with the federal government around the iPhone connected with the San Bernardino terror attacks, according to sources.

At a congressional hearing on Thursday, Microsoft’s legal chief, Brad Smith, said that the company plans to file an amicus brief next week in support of Apple’s resistance to helping the FBI hack the phone. Google will deliver its own supporting brief “soon,” according to sources familiar with the company.

Apple’s standoff with the feds is growing more heated each day. Apple filed documents in court today asking a judge to throw out the order demanding that the company assist the FBI in getting past the phone’s encryption. Apple has also asked its tech peers to stand behind the company.

Google, which controls Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system, was the first tech company to publicly voice support for Apple when the case broke last week. CEO Sundar Pichai said the government demands set a “troubling precedent.”

Update: It appears that the rest of the tech community is rallying behind Apple, too. Both Twitter and Facebook are also expected to throw their legal support behind Apple next week, according to sources.

One source told Re/code that “the industry is aligned and working on a joint submission to the court.” So it appears that numerous tech companies will file one amicus brief together instead of numerous individual briefs.

Additional reporting by Kurt Wagner.

President Obama spoke about security issues with Re/code:

Watch the full interview here

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