Report: Calif. victims to file brief supporting government in Apple encryption case

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A former federal judge will file a legal brief supporting the government’s attempt to force Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone of one of the people responsible for killing 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., last year.

Stephen Larson, who is now in private practice, told Reuters he will file an amicus brief in court by early March.

"They were targeted by terrorists, and they need to know why, how this could happen," Larson told Reuters Sunday of the victims he represents. He is representing them for free but would not say how many clients he has.

With the victims entering the fray, the government has a powerful ally in its fight against Apple. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment Sunday.

An Apple spokesman also declined to comment. In a letter last week, CEO Tim Cook said the company has "worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime."