The nearly two-dozen security experts and former U.S. officials argued Thursday in a court filing that proposals to force open Apple’s mobile ecosystem — such as requirements that iPhones be able to install apps from outside the official app store — would harm user and national security, reports CNN.
The list of signatories includes Gen. Michael Hayden and John Brennan, the former CIA directors, along with Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence and NSA director. Others signing onto the friend-of-the-court submission include William Evanina, former director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center; the longtime national security expert Richard Clarke; and various others with past roles at the Pentagon, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
“Requiring Apple devices to accept third-party apps and app stores necessarily increases the risk of malware on iOS devices, which directly correlates to an increased risk to national security,” the former officials wrote.
Also, other parties have filed briefs supporting Apple’s case. As noted by iMore, they include Roblox and the Koch brothers’ “Americans for Prosperity Foundation.”
This is all part of an ongoing global legal battle between Apple and Epic. On Aug. 13,2020, Epic Games announced that it had introduced a new direct payment option in the Fortnite app for iPhone and iPad, allowing players to purchase 1000 V-Bucks for US$7.99 rather than $9.99 through Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. Shortly thereafter, Apple removed the gamer from the App Store for violating store polices and followed up by shutting down the company’s developer account.
Epic immediately filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.In September 2020 Apple filed a countersuit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract.