The devil is in the details.
Earlier this year, the U.S. government tried to force Facebook to give the FBI access to its Messenger app.
The bureau wanted the social media giant to recode the app so that feds could listen to encrypted phone calls allegedly related to the MS-13 gang. Facebook declined and the FBI pushed the courts to force Facebook to comply. Reuters first reported all of this in August.
But now the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation want answers, and the pair filed a motion Wednesday in the state of California to unseal the case so the public can find out what the government's argument for a backdoor was and see why the court pushed back.
"The public deserves to know why the government thought it could dismantle measures that protect their right to privacy online, and how they can defend that right should the government try to force another service to undermine its security features," said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel for the ACLU.
In June of this year, the ACLU released a guide for software developers on how to handle government requests for data and demands that would undermine user security. Recommendations included establishing privacy policies and acquiring legal representation before the feds come knocking.