I think there is a much bigger issue here than just encryption and security. From what I understand the All Writs Act is the foundation of the request. The broad concept of “provide assistance” is apparently behind the request.
Has precedent been set that this “assistance” includes the creation of unique work? In this case the Company Apple is being forced to CREATE something new to provide “assistance”. Apple is a company, and Apple cannot “create” anything. So where does the All Writs Act stop? If the court sides with the FBI and forces Apple to create this software, what happens if the employees at Apple individually and personally refuse to write this code and create this mandated tool? Will Apple be fined because its employees will not work? Will the employees be imprisoned or fined until they comply? Will Apple be forced by court order to fire anyone that refuses to do the work?
This is not a case where someone is being compelled to testify or punished for breaking a law. People are being forced by court order to perform work to create something new specifically for law enforcement, forced labor by the government. If a company can be forced via the All Writs Act to create software to gain access to a phone, then there is no limitation at all on forcing a company to create software or anything else by court order. No company can “create” or take any action, it is the people that create and take action. How is a person free if the government can compel them to work or create by court order at any time? This case sets a dangerous precedent heading us toward a police state founded entirely on one Constitution and Bill of Rights erasing Act — the All Writs Act. I would like to believe that was not the original intent of the Act.